The Delve Exchange, a knowledge-sharing network, was honoured with the gold award at the 2023 Global Good Awards for its outstanding contribution to educational excellence. This network, dedicated to artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) and quarry workers, spans across continents including Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Inception of the Delve Exchange was a combined effort between the Sustainable Minerals Institute’s Development Minerals Program and several global organisations. Their initial objective was to foster networking during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the platform evolved into a pivotal communication medium, boasting over 1000 members from 71 countries, facilitated through seven WhatsApp groups and 100 regional monthly forums.
Dr Lynda Lawson, a representative from the Development Minerals program, expressed her immense pride in the collective of artisanal and small-scale miners who were instrumental in creating the Delve Exchange. She highlighted the network’s unique approach, which is characterised by its miner-empowerment focus. This platform not only champions the miners but also empowers them to narrate their experiences authentically. A significant aspect of the Delve Exchange is the active participation of female miners, who utilise this platform as a secure environment to discuss pressing concerns and training subjects.
Globally, artisanal and small-scale mining employs an estimated 42 million individuals. For a significant portion of these workers, ASM is the primary source of household income, often surpassing earnings from other sectors like agriculture and retail. Blessing Hungwe, the Delve Exchange Knowledge Exchange Coordinator for Africa, emphasised the platform’s crucial role in enhancing outcomes for workers and their families. She shared her personal experience, highlighting the empowerment she felt through virtual mobilisation and organisation.
The Delve Exchange is not just a communication tool; it promotes peer-to-peer learning, fostering the generation of knowledge and solutions. These insights can be leveraged by ASM associations to assist their members and communities in addressing both local and national challenges.
The Global Good Award for Educational Excellence is a testament to educational initiatives that broaden learning horizons, augment information accessibility, and offer unparalleled academic experiences to diverse age groups.