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Virgin Unite

Regions: Nigeria South Africa

Category: Children Health

Total Raised: $131,247

How have we helped?

21st Century Leaders have raised funds for Virgin Unite & its partner charities from the sale of Whatever It Takes products. $26,748 was donated from sale of wristbands. This donation was used to fund the Starfish project detailed below.

In addition $16,000 was donated from the WIT Natalie Imbruglia auction prize at the Royal family of Qatar's Reach Out To Asia Gala Dinner event in November 2006, which went directly to the Campaign to End Fistula project detailed below.

Grants paid out by 3rd parties

21st Century Leaders organised the following donations for Virgin Unite. $86,000 to Virgin Unite (Campaign to End Fistula) when Natalie Imbruglia kindly performed in Qatar, in November 2006 at the ROTA Gala Dinner for The Royal Family of Qatar.

Click here for more photos from the event

About Virgin Unite

Virgin Unite, unite people to tackle tough social and environmental problems in an entrepreneurial way. Their aim is to help revolutionise the way businesses and the social sector work together – driving business as a force for good.

This is based on the belief that this is the only way we can tackle the scale of the challenges facing the world today.

Virgin Unite’s overheads are covered by Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Group, meaning that 100% of additional donations received, go direct to the frontline where they are needed most. Virgin Unite focuses on three areas:

1. Big Ideas - Creating new global leadership models to address conflict, climate change and disease.

2. Entrepreneurial Incubator - Bringing together the business and social sectors to develop entrepreneurial approaches that lead to economic empowerment and healthy communities.

3. Business Mobilisation and Inspiration - Offering consultancy and practical support to make it simple for businesses to become a force for good.

Campaign to end Fistula

Obstetric fistula is a childbirth injury. It occurs when emergency obstetric care is unavailable to women who develop complications in labour. Prolonged, difficult childbirth can last up to 6 or 7 days. The fetus will usually die after 2 or 3 and the soft tissues of the pelvis are so badly damaged that they it causes a fistula, or hole, between the vagina & bladder, or vagina & rectum, or both.

This leads to chronic incontinence and consequently the woman's husband & family will often abandon her and she will be ostracized by her community.

According to the World Health Organisation, at least 2 Million women are living with fistula in developing countries. Common in Europe and N America until the 20th Century, fistula is now a hidden problem, occurring mostly in poor, remote areas of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia where medical access is limited & where treatment for young, poor, illiterate girls & women is scarce.

Fistula is treatable with reconstructive surgery and its side-effects are manageable with post operative care & counselling. It costs £170 to provide this treatment. Working in over 35 countries to tackle the problem, The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) hopes to eradicate the condition worldwide by 2015. $86,000 raised for Virgin Unite (Fistula Campaign) as a result of 21CL Ltd arranging for Natalie Imbruglia to perform at ROTA's fundraising event in Nov 06.


Starfish is an international charity helping to support children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa. By 2010 an estimated 2.3 million children will be orphaned as a result of AIDS in South Africa, whilst thousands of others will be in vulnerable situations as their family units disintegrate.
However, more than 70% of these children will not have HIV. They will have the potential to grow up & contribute to South African society.  If these orphaned and vulnerable children are not cared for, nurtured & educated, they will become a lost generation.

Therefore, the day care centre that received all the funds from the wristband sales is a day care project in a township called Putfontein, on the outskirts of Johannesburg. It’s run by Nora, an amazing women dedicated to caring for the over 300 orphaned and vulnerable children from the sitting room of her own home, cooking for them all on a small stove. Many of these children eat only one meal a day.

The donation from 21st Century Leaders went towards:

• Purchasing a new piece of land for more space, a decent sized playground & a survival food garden

• Playground equipment

• Educational equipment & toy

• Fencing & Security

• The remaining funds will go towards supporting the garden the crèche.