2nd July 2009
An Abu Dhabi charitable foundation and the non profit arm of the Virgin Group have agreed a deal to work together on education and health initiatives in the United Arab Emirates.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE's deputy prime minister and chairman of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sir Richard Branson in Abu Dhabi to start the partnership.
The two foundations will work together to develop education initiatives to help create thousands of job opportunities for young people in poverty.
The sheik said: “The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is determined to improve the lives of people all over the world and has already contributed significant funds through the Khalifa Foundation. We are delighted to be announcing this partnership with Richard Branson and Virgin Unite who share our passion for creating opportunities to help people lift themselves out of poverty.”
Sir Richard said: “We are very pleased to be partnering with the UAE through the bin Zayed Al Nahyan Khalifa Foundation, who do brilliant work in helping to alleviate poverty and suffering all over the world.
"The two foundations will form a great team to work closely with people and organisations on the frontline to create entrepreneurial approaches to ending poverty.”
Both organisations are experienced in creating education opportunities.
The Khalifa Foundation is active in 35 countries outside the UAE and has given more than 30,000 students financial help with tuition fees, meals, stationary and clothing. It is planning to launch a number of new initiatives in vocational education.
Virgin Unite works all over the world to bring people together to tackle tough environmental and social issues in an entrepreneurial way. This includes helping to launch global initiatives such as the Elders and frontline projects including health clinics in Africa.
The Branson School of Entrepreneurship was launched in in Johannesburg, South Africa, three years ago and has since trained thousands of young people and helped fund their small businesses. The school is in the process of expanding into Kenya and several other countries.
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