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09/08/2017 - 07:00hs

Algerians to receive jewelry training in Brazil

A group of 26 people will go into training at the Minas Gerais Federal Institute, in Ouro Preto, beginning August 14. The initiative is a cooperation between the jewelry sector association, the Algerian govt and cooperation agency ABC.

São Paulo – A group of 26 Algerian students arrives this week in Minas Gerais to go into training in jewelry. For two weeks, between August 14 and 27, they will receive training at the Minas Gerais Federal Institute (IFMG), in the city of Ouro Preto, as part of a cooperation between the Brazilian Gem and Jewelry Association (ABRAGEM), the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) and the Algerian government.

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The Tamanrasset school offers design classes

ABRAGEM has been working for ten years with Algeria in training and fostering jewelry production in the country and helped the Algerians create a specialized school in the city of Tamanrasset. The best-performing students in the school’s courses will be the ones visiting Brazil to receive further training. Three coordinators will travel with the group.

The information is from ABRAGEM’s president, Harilton Vasconcelos. He says that most of the students arriving have never left the country. “The place has everything to do with the reality of our project,” says Vasconcelos, mentioning the fact that Ouro Preto is home to one of the world’s largest mineralogy museums and that IFMG is highly regarded in jewelry training.

The official opening of the mission at IFMG is scheduled for August 14 and will kick off the training. After the ceremony, which should be attended by invited authorities, the students will start their classes and a lecture on cooperativism will be given to the institute’s students and the community of Ouro Preto.

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Algerians learned to manufacture jewelry

As part of the activities, the Algerians will get to know gold and topaz mines in the city of Ouro Preto. “They will get to know our country by doing onsite work,” says Vasconcelos. Invited by the Federation of Industries of the State of Minas Gerais (FIEMG), the coordinators of the group will visit one of Brazil’s largest jewelry plants, Manoel Bernardes, located in the state of Minas Gerais.

ABRAGEM’s work in Algeria is done with the support and partnership of the Tamanrasset Handicraft Chamber. Since 2007, when the cooperation began, the Algerians have visited Brazil for technical visits and Brazilians were in the Arab country many times for training and implementation.

The jewelry school created with the help of ABRAGEM started classes early in 2015 and 80 students have completed the course since then, according to Vasconcelos. Last year, the school was transferred to a new place, the Tamanrasset Handicraft House, a larger and even better facility than the first one.

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Mission of the embassy of Brazil visited the school

The course offers cutting of precious stones, cutting of natural stones, basic goldsmithery, jewelry casting, jewelry design, 3D jewelry design and stone handicraft. ABRAGEM’s president says that at the end of last year, the work of the students was presented in an event at Brazil’s embassy in Algiers.

Still in 2017, between October and November, as the last part of the cooperation, ABRAGEM’s representatives should travel again to Algeria to teach a course on cooperativism. The goal is that after learning the trade, the Algerians can form cooperatives to manufacture jewelry with stones from the Sahara Desert. The school will still be running and more students will be graduating.

ABRAGEM’s president says that the cooperation with Algeria was a pilot project and that it will be replicated in other countries. There isn’t a specific country selected yet, but there were conversations with South Africa and Senegal. No other Arab country has applied, but Vasconcelos says that ABRAGEM is open to contacts and invitations.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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