GEMS CUTTING AND POLISHING

Following its objective of creating economic opportunities for the marginalized communities, particularly women and youth of GBC, Rupani Foundation has started to contribute in this sector by establishing and running gem cutting and polishing centers, gems testing and identification facility in Gilgit-Baltistan. The region of Gilgit-Baltistan has some of the best precious stones that are usually mined and sold through conventional methods. In addition, miners lack technical skills and tools for value-addition. Locals are usually underpaid for their effort due to low quality of mining and polishing. To address this issue and increase the value-addition, RF introduced professional training in mining and polishing of precious and semi-precious stones. Concurrently, polishing centres were established in various locations of GB, run by professionally trained craftsmen. In this project both male and females were encouraged to engage in trainings. Under the program, RF has trained 1,055 individuals in Gems Cutting and Polishing, 170 in Bead Making, 220 in Stone Carving and 400 in Jewellery Making.

In these centres, artisans learned skills of gems polishing and jewelry designing. RF also developed a contextualized Gems Cutting Training manual to assist prospective and current professionals in gems and cutting sector. With the success in Gilgit region, RF further expanded its program in Chitral to include the youth of marginalized segments of society. In collaboration with Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), USAID and European commission, RF has established 15 gems cutting centres across Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral and trained 1076 youth. RF trained and skilled artisans have successfully opened up their own business and some of them have assumed mentorship roles. RF also developed contextual manuals in the gems cutting and polishing to document the artisanal activities and promote the gems cutting and polishing potential to wider audience beyond borders.