Three years ago, the Eve Branson Foundation established the Tansghart Woodwork Centre (TWC) in Asni, Morocco. 

The centre, nestled within the foothills of the high Atlas Mountains, tackles unemployment in young men who have dropped out of school.

TWC Woodwork Centre - EBF in Morocco

To address skill gaps, the centre provides training and resources for young men to develop traditional, artisan carpentry skills - setting them up for prosperous futures. The team at the centre believe that to create lasting change, you should not simply look ahead - you also need to think cyclically.

TWC operates on a sustainable business model designed to build skills, generate rising incomes, contribute to the community, employ local workers, promote responsible tourism and preserve the rich culture pertaining to the Berber people. The centre utilises reclaimed wood and organic structures to ensure it's as ustainable as possible. What’s more, the profits go directly back to the students and to covering the costs of the centre - ensuring its future viability and evolution. 

Eve Branson with TWC Woodwork Trainee's in Morocco
Eve Branson with TWC Trainees

Late last year, one of TWC’s training partner’s, David Bult, sat down with some of the centre’s students, Houssein, Ayoub, Youssef and Mohamed, and their trainers Abdellatif and Belaid. David asked the young men about the impact the centre had on their lives over the past three years. The trainees described incredible transformations that have occurred within themselves, the community, their families and evolution the centre itself. The young men all expressed bold ambitions and future aspirations that would seem impossible without the training and support provided by the centre.

Houssein - TWC Trainee - Eve Branson Foundation

Through their training, the young men have developed skills in craftsmanship, business development, communication, workplace health and safety, engineering techniques, machinery operation, project development, financial management, interpersonal skills and employment retention. The projects themselves have grown in scale too. 2018 saw a rise in custom orders, structural furniture orders and delivering large-scale installations. This growth is projected to continue in 2019.

TWC Woodwork Centre - EBF

One trainee, Mohamed, describes his experience below:

“My name is Mohamed Abdelkous. I live in Aselda (a nearby village), and I work at the Tansghart Woodwork Centre. I’ve learned so many things from Abdellatif, David and Belaid, such as  how to use machinery, woodwork and how to relate to people.  The work is good and  I’d like the work we do to continue to improve. I want it to become better and better than when I originally started so even more guys from the community can join TWC so everyone can benefit.  The work is great and really benefits everyone.  Regarding my family, every time when they want or need something I bring it. My earnings are good and continue to increase. They’ve really gone up since the beginning… Thank you everyone for helping this project in Tansghart.”

TWC Woodwork Centre Trainees Mohamed and Youssef - EBF
TWC Trainees Mohamed and Youssef

It’s brilliant to see the growth and impact that TWC and the Eve Branson Foundation has had upon the lives of these young men and their community. Thanks to everyone who works tirelessly to enrich the lives of these young men. It’s been three years of new beginnings and it sounds like there’s plenty more in store.

If you'd like to support the foundation further, you can purchase a selection products made in the craft centres available right here.