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Singer-songwriter and sometime-actor Jewel is refocusing her near decade-long, discrete charitable activities towards a more effective, higher profile partnership with Virgin Unite and its British billionaire boss Sir Richard Branson.

Jewel established Higher Ground for Humanity, whose main focus is Project Clean Water, in 1999. The Project organizes teams of scientists and engineers to bring safe, clean drinking water to impoverished communities throughout the world. It has assisted thousands of people in a dozen countries.

The singer realized through talks with Sir Branson that she could be doing much more for the cause, so she performed last week at a show to benefit Virgin Unite’s charitable projects in Morocco, where clean water is also the central issue. “A lot of clean water around the world is getting bought up privately; it costs more than oil,” she says.

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