Press Release: March 03, 2010
To this end, he has set up a charity The F.A.C.E.T. (For Africas Children Every Time) Foundation. The foundation, working with charities on the ground, functions as a fund of funds to raise money for the education, health and wellbeing of the children of Africa from where Graff Diamonds sources many of its beautiful stones.
On Saturday 6th March at an official ceremony, Laurence Graff will open, with His Majesty King Letsie III, the first Graff Leadership Centre in Lesotho.
The centre provides an Afro-centred library and training facilities for children, youth and adults in a multitude of programs, including pre-employment skills. The second floor of the building is a hostel for fifty young girls in a leadership program to develop peer leaders in their villages. Thousands of young people will benefit from this outstanding community resource.
The tiny mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, completely landlocked inside South Africa, has the worlds 3rd highest incidence of HIV/ AIDS. One of the poorest countries in the world, 63% of its population is under 24 years of age with a life expectancy of 37 years. In parts of Lesotho, the percentage of children who are orphaned can reach 40%. These orphans and youth are plagued with loss, poverty, often starvation and an almost total lack of psychosocial support. Without significant help, they will lose hope.
I hope that through the first Graff Leadership Centre we shall give the kingdoms children opportunities to learn and acquire skills which they would use to improve their situation explains Laurence Graff
"Further centres are being developed elsewhere in Southern Africa".