Trainings in Gemstone cutting, polishing and jewelry making have remained RF’s key interventions in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral since the organization came into existence in 2007. The Rupani family, a U.S.-based family of Pakistani origin, provided technical and financial support to initiate gems cutting and polishing programs in the region in collaboration with AKRSP. The initiative later won the support of donor agencies including, Competitive Support Fund (CSF), European Commission (EC), GIZ and USAID.
Initially, RF worked with AKRSP to establish seven gems cutting and polishing centers in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. Afterwards, three more centers were added with support from CSF and USAID. In the course of time, four centers were handed over to local communities after completing the initial phase of training. Currently, five gems centers are functioning in Gilgit-Baltistan and one in Chitral. These centers have gradually become training hubs and have produced a cadre of 730 trained men and women through funding from the following sources:
• The Rupani family support
• GIZ-supported Capacity-building in Gems Cutting and Polishing Project
• USAID Small Grants Project for Technology Transfer and Skill Development
• EC-funded Jewel of Pakistan Project