The dude: Josh Brolin
The cause: Surfrider Foundation
The philanthropist: Eve Branson
The charity: The Eve Branson Foundation
The cause: The mission of the Eve Branson Foundation is to improve the lives of women in the Atlas Mountains, through access to business, education and healthcare.
As the old proverb goes, give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Eve Branson, otherwise known as Richard’s mum, has taken this to the next level. Instead of a man, it’s a village (several, actually) in the Atlas Mountains. And instead of fishing lessons, she’s teaching a community of women long-term skills to create a sustainable economy in a remote area of Morocco. It’s one of the reasons that the stunning Kasbah Tamadot, Richard Branson’s luxury resort exists today, as Eve’s passion for the Atlas Mountains influenced her son to build the quietly elegant resort. At the local school that’s been established by the Foundation, women and girls learn to make crafts, many of which are sold at Kasbah Tamadot. Eve’s Foundation has brought purpose, pride and hope for a future to women and girls. It’s hard not to get caught up in the emotion on a visit to the school, where you can spend time with the girls and, of course, drop some worthy coin on their beautiful handicrafts.
How to get involved: The Foundation supports itself through donations, fundraising events and proceeds from the sale of goods produced by the girls. It was a surprise to us that, while Richard is known to have a few resources himself, the Foundation critically relies on external funding. The Rock the Kasbah fundraisers in L.A., London and Toronto have brought in heavy hitters like Charlize Theron, Salma Hayek and Richard himself. New to their events calendar is a polo match in Los Angeles, in April 2014. For more information, check out Foundation website.
Bonus: As for that story of Kate Winslet rescuing Ms. Branson from the Necker Island property fire? Well, don’t believe everything you read. Eve Branson is not only strong in will, but very ably walked herself out of that burning building.