GemHub Project Partners
Herizo Harimalala Tsiverisoa.
Herizo is a geologist and a lapidary trainer. I have been working for 12 years as the head of lapidary and jewelry department of the Institut de Gemmologie de Madagascar. My role is focused on capacity building, also on the conception of all projects aiming to support, develop the ASM sector in collaboration with associations of miners and gemstone professionals.
In 2015, I was amongst a team who delivered a training of trainers program for women in mining in Ilakaka Madagascar. The project aimed to emancipate the position of women in the sapphire business, to improve the income and sustainable impacts of sapphire fever especially for women. This project was developed with the CSRM Australia and local volunteers and supported by the IM4DC. As a gemstone trainer specialist, my role was to identify the training program appropriate to the target, to develop and deliver the courses and follow up the progress of the targeted community. It was fantastic to see the empowerment of local women who have had very few opportunities for personal development but showed real talent for jewelry making. The project demonstrates the potential of marginalized community endowed with a basic empowerment program which lead them to be self-sufficient.
Recently, I was part of an economic empowerment program for women in opal mining in Ethiopia. I was the gemstone training specialist, and my main tasks were to design a training program which was appropriate for each woman, deliver the training and strengthen the association of women in the opal market.
I believe that with appropriate training in assessing, valuing, cutting and polishing; gemstones can provide a sustainable livelihood for women in gemstone bearing countries across the world. I am currently doing a Masters in development studies because I draw from my previous experience that technical skills should be complemented with development approach. Working with ASM community requires deep understanding of different aspects of human development in addition to technical capability. On one hand, ASM involves millions of people across the world and provides livelihood for millions of family but on the other hand ASM activity is also a very destructive activity for the environment, is not accountable economically and might be source of social harm. For all thus reason, I believe that ASM deserve to be reconsidered under new perspective and to reverse harms into sustainable positive impacts.