Meet Hanan and Jamila, two young Berber mothers who grew up in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
Each day, the women prepare the family meals such as wood-fired bread and tagines, collect firewood, care for their livestock and tend to their children. In addition to this, Hanan and Jamila are both exceptionally skilled artisans and business women.
Hanan and Jamila work with the Eve Branson Foundation (EBF) to create unique Berber rugs using traditional techniques passed down through the generations. The pieces are then sold in the Tansghart Craft Centre, the nearby Kasbah Tamadot retreat and online through the EBF e-boutique.
The skill these women bring to their work is instinctive and unique – they individually knot together woollen rugs on upright looms to create intricate and traditional designs and preserve the significant Berber culture.
However, being responsible for large families makes it difficult for Hanan, Jamila, and many other women in their position, to leave the house and earn a living. EBF recognised the potential in these young women and understand the positive ripple effect that is felt through the wider community when you invest in a woman's employment and education.
EBF visited Hanan and Jamila at their homes and offered to build a loom in Jamila’s house. This enabled the women to earn an income and enhance their skills, all while they ran their households and looked after the children.
This simple example of smarter thinking has broken down a much broader barrier. A few months after commencement – and many satisfied customers later – EBF now supplies the tools and the wool for Jamila and Hanan to earn an income, and gain independance without any compromises.
You can learn more about the Eve Branson Foundation and view their wonderful craftsmanship here. Every purchase made leaves a positive impact, with at least 40 per cent of the sale returning directly to the artisans. The remaining revenue goes into directly sustaining the foundation’s core programmes and covering all running costs.
If you're feeling inspired you can read more stories from our Smarter Thinking series here.