Since 1911, communities worldwide have come together on March 8th to showcase the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, while highlighting the need for greater gender equality. These sentiments are at the root of MiaDonna’s values and are ingrained in our DNA.
MiaDonna was founded by a mother with a passion for raising awareness about the chronic exploitation and oppression of women and children at the hands of greedy corporations. Even in 2021, women earn 81 cents for every dollar earned by men. This inequality is magnified when looking at third world countries, where women have less access to education and healthcare and cultural discrimination is widespread.
Through our foundation, The Greener Diamond, we are empowering women in diamond mining communities through education and training, and giving them the tools needed to create their own small businesses. Today we honor the women forging a new path and creating a life where they can thrive without relying on income or resources from others.
One such woman who participated in our inaugural class at The Greener Diamond Agricultural Training Center (TGDATC) last year is Neresha, a 22-year-old from Monrovia, Liberia. Like many young women in Liberia, the civil unrest and resource-driven civil wars left traumatic scars with long-lasting effects and little direction on how to move forward. Neresha grew up with 7 siblings, and while she doesn’t like to talk about her childhood, she did share a memory about being in a classroom and having to flee with the rest of the students, and “running for her life” as insurgents descended upon the school.
Once she was able to safely return home, she attended the University of Liberia and obtained a degree in Agriculture. After graduating, she had a dream of having her own farm, but she did not have the practical knowledge or resources needed to make her dream a reality. To learn as much as she could, Neresha began volunteering with Agro Tech Liberia, an organization that encourages Liberian Youth to pursue careers in agriculture so Liberia can become food secure and reduce unemployment and poverty in the country.
This is where Neresha learned about TGDATC. One unique aspect of the Center’s curriculum is that it not only teaches the principles of farming, but also how to own and operate a small business. The students are taught how to process the crops and sell them at local markets giving them the opportunity to generate a sustainable income.
Some of the other practical pieces of knowledge Neresha acquired include, knowing what to consider in site selection for a farm, how to till the soil to make it most effective, the proper measurements for the crop beds, and the process for starting seedlings and transferring them to the fields.
The experience increased her passion for agriculture and she now hopes to have her own poultry farm. TGDATC is expanding its offerings in the coming months and will be adding livestock and poultry training. Neresha was on the farm while the chicken and goat houses were being built, so she is excited to continue her education with this new, upcoming opportunity.
With the help of our #MiaDonnaHeroes, this year we look forward to expanding our programs for women to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where we will create an agricultural training center for survivors of sexual violence. Many of these women cannot return to their homes or villages following their attacks because of the stigma surrounding sexual violence. The training center will give them a place to heal, and a means to start a new, independent life full of hope.
We are humbled to play a role in the education and training these women receive on their journey and we could not do it without support from conscious consumers purchasing ethical, conflict-free fine jewelry. Thank you! Together we are creating change on an international level.