Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson is a successful international entrepreneur and is Founder and Chairman of the Virgin Group. Virgin is one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands and has expanded into everything from air and ground travel to telecommunications, heath, space travel and renewable energy through more than 200 companies’ worldwide, employing approximately 50,000 people in 29 countries.
In the same way he approaches starting a business, Richard works with partners on the frontlines to tackle tough social and environmental challenges with talented people and innovative approaches. In 2007, along with Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel and Peter Gabriel, Richard and a group of wonderful partners announced the formation of the Elders, a group of global leaders to contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems. Richard is also putting significant focus into Virgin Unite, the not-for-profit foundation of the Virgin Group which unites people to tackle social and environmental issues in an entrepreneurial way. Virgin Unite supports a number of efforts ranging from the creation of sustainable healthcare models in Africa, to fostering young entrepreneurs through the Branson School of Entrepreneurship in South Africa, to supporting homeless teenagers in the US.
Richard is married with two wonderful children.
Mia Farrow has long been committed to the people of Darfur. Over the last 12 days she has been fasting on only water in order to raise awareness for the horrible crisis unfolding in Darfur with the removal of 13 international aid agencies. Mia’s health has taken a downturn over the last couple days and her doctor has asked her to stop immediately. Richard Branson had been asked by Mia to take over the fast starting next week, but he has also now asked Mia to stop and he is going to start his three day fast today to continue to ask world leaders to take immediate action and demand that international aid is restored.
Richard Branson stated; “I’m honoured to be taking over the fast for the next three days from Mia Farrow in her courageous stance to support the people of Darfur. Over a year and a half ago, I travelled to Darfur and was horrified by the stories that people of all ages shared with us. Young children had watched their entire family get killed and then had to survive on their own in unimaginable conditions. I was humbled and inspired by the courage of the Darfuri people and the commitment of the aid organisations that were working on the frontlines. Now, with 13 aid organisations expelled from the country, over 1m people are at grave risk. We cannot stand and watch as 1m people suffer. We all need to stand up and demand that international aid is restored and that the people of Darfur are protected and given the chance to live in peace.”
The following is a statement from the thousands of people who have joined Mia and others in this fast.
We fast in solidarity with the people of Darfur because they do not have a choice. We fast as a personal expression of outrage at a world that has allowed the suffering of millions of innocent people. We fast because as we simply watched, Darfur’s defenseless people were forced into wretched camps where today they are facing starvation and disease. We fast because those in positions of authority who know what is right and just, could and should do more to alleviate their suffering and bring peace, protection, and justice to the people of Sudan.
We fast for Darfur’s courageous people —because we yearn for a world where human rights are respected and a life of dignity is the legacy for every man, woman and child.
Please join us and get involved in supporting the people of Darfur by going to www.fastdarfur.org and taking action.