Trade with social sense
« Boyacá-Switzerland » Project
Since 2001, Colombia is one of the priority countries for Swiss peace and human rights policies. The Confederation has played an important supporting role in the recent peace process, but much remains to be done.
We can all contribute, to the best of our ability, to providing new opportunities for sustainable development to one of the most vulnerable populations, which includes women in the informal mining sector in the Boyacá region of Colombia, and to offering new employment opportunities for people in Switzerland who are unemployed or living in precarious or poor conditions. The Boyacá-Switzerland project’s mission is to contribute to the fight against poverty and improve the living and working conditions of women employed in the informal mining sector in the Boyacá region of Colombia. Our Vision The Boyacá-Switzerland project aims at improving the skills of its beneficiaries in Colombia and Switzerland and at eliminating intermediaries in the jewellery production line, as well as bringing together populations in both countries whose interaction and collaboration will be mutually beneficial. On the Colombian side, the women currently employed in the informal mining sector will be trained in stone-cutting techniques. On the Swiss side, unemployed and underprivileged populations wishing to participate in this endeavor will be trained in the creation of jewellery from the stones carved by Colombian women. The jewellery produced this way will be low range but sufficiently attractive to find a place amongst the younger population, and in particular the «Millennials», through an online marketing strategy. Capacity building, elimination of intermediaries and online marketing will generate additional revenue in Colombia and Switzerland based on the principles of fair trade and solidarity. Why ? Colombian women, particularly those in the informal economy, and their families have been the most affected group by decades of war. Moreover, women who labour in the mining industry have seen their living conditions deteriorate continuously even if, paradoxically, they are the vital link in an industry that is often associated with luxury and wealth. Due to a lack of training and job opportunities, their work and efforts do not bring value added to the extraction, processing and marketing chain of precious and semi-precious stones. The Boyacá-Switzerland project will provide them with the necessary training and help them to enter a collaboration and marketing system, thus enabling them to improve their living conditions and those of their families.
Furthermore, even though Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, there are still pockets of poverty and precarity. Switzerland has a very strong reputation in the world of watchmaking and jewellery production and carries the ongoing expertize of a number of former jewellers and watchmakers who are now unemployed .
The project is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals supported by Colombia and Switzerland, in particular No.1 - Poverty Alleviation, No. 5 - Gender Equality, and No. 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth .
The first phase in Colombia will be in collaboration with Colombia’s main authority for learning and capacity development, SENA (National Apprenticeship Service ), as well as with the Colombian Miners’ Cooperative Coomultraquipama. This training will be for 30 people (20 female and 4 male heads of household, and 6 adolescents).
In the second phase, the project will develop partnerships with experienced jewellery professionals, but we will also offer young graduates their first professional experience in the jewellery sector. During the two phases, the semi-precious stones used will be extracted, cut and exported directly to Switzerland by the miners and stonecutters of the Coomultraquipama cooperative.
The company, «Emeraudinne - Ethical Jewellery» will be in charge of marketing the jewellery created under the project via the Internet and social networks and will take care of any complementary financing activities. Emeraudinne is based on the principles of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. It will operate in a supportive environment and will be based on fair wages.
How will your donations and support be used?
Your donations and your participation in the project support activities will help launch the first phase of the project and, in 2018, directly benefit 20 female and 4 male heads of household as well as 6 adolescents in Colombia and about 5 unemployed women in the jewellery industry in Switzerland.
The budget required to launch the first phase in Colombia is approximately CHF 8,000, which will go towards the following:
Purchase of a 3D printer and Design CAD software for the design and creation of our beautiful jewellery and ethical accessories; Purchase of raw materials from the artisanal miners of Colombia which will lead in turn to decent salaries, beyond basic income levels; Travel expenses.
Additional actions Your donations via the «Crowdfunding» platform will be added to a set of additional fund-raising activities intended to help finance the Bocayá-Switzerland project, such as:
Solidarity golf competition. In 2017 two golf solidarity tournaments were organized for the benefit of the project, in the Evian Resort Golf Club and the Golf de la Manchette Club. Similar tournaments will be organized in 2018. Meals, music evenings and solidarity festivities in Geneva, Switzerland. For more informations: http://emeraudinne.com/en/crowdfunding-2/