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This week we learnt of the sad passing of a truly incredible lady, Eve Branson. Eve played such a special part in our family at Virgin Limited Edition and through her many adventures to our properties the team got to know Eve so well; with her wonderful energy and fantastic sense of humour she never failed to bring a smile to the faces of those around her.
This of course is especially true of our team at Kasbah Tamadot, where over 15 years ago Eve set up The Eve Branson Foundation. Her involvement in the local community has been nothing short of spectacular, and she has had such a profound effect on the villagers by creating a Foundation that presents much-needed opportunities to all those involved.
As we have come together with the Branson family and our wider Virgin family this week, to celebrate and recount the many, many happy stories of Eve, I thought I would share with you the story of the Eve Branson Foundation and how it all began, and how we plan to proudly continue her most wonderful legacy.
To start at the very beginning, Eve is actually the reason that Kasbah Tamadot is even in the collection. While Richard was in Morocco preparing for a hot-air balloon challenge, Eve and his father Ted went off exploring and found our beautiful Kasbah. They both fell in love with it and told Richard they would not speak to him again if he didn’t buy it! Richard agreed to buy the Kasbah and Eve was able to put in place a plan to help the local Berber people living in the more remote surrounding villages. Safe to say she grasped the challenge with both hands and heart, and the Eve Branson Foundation (EBF) was born.
Kasbah Tamadot is set at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and overlooks the surrounding villages. Through her inquisitive nature, Eve wanted to know what happened over in those villages. She set off the following morning and Eve discovered that the girls of the high Atlas Mountains had no place to work and so decided to build her own craft house so the girls could be taught how to make things that could be sold. Not only teaching them new skills but helping them to create their own income.
What began as one craft house in Tansghart, to train young women who had dropped out of school, grew over the years and now EBF proudly runs three craft centres in the area with each centre encouraging the production and sale of artisan goods. This allows the young people to generate a small income for themselves and their families. Not only that, but alongside the skills-training centres EBF also works with a wonderful set of partners to enable them to support community initiatives tackling healthcare, wellbeing, environmental issues and access to education.
Eve has been an inspiration to so many and to say she has had a profound impact on the community in Asni, is an understatement. You only need to talk of Kasbah Tamadot in the local villages and Eve’s name is automatically associated with our beautiful Kasbah and the remarkable impact that has been made within the community. In partnership with each village surrounding Kasbah Tamadot, EBF helps to bring about transformations both economically and socially and through mutual respect and determination, the team have learnt how to successfully combine entrepreneurial spirit with the Berber culture.
At Virgin Limited Edition it is truly an honour to be able to continue the work that Eve so passionately supported right up until the end of her life. There is absolutely no doubt Eve’s name will continue to live on in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco and that together with the Eve Branson Foundation, we will continue this very special legacy. The most fitting tribute to the most inspiring woman.
Managing Director, Virgin Limited Edition
View our film in honour of Eve here: https://youtu.be/WLD4YxCMTHM
Find out more about the Eve Branson Foundation here.
Best time to travel to Morocco's Atlas Mountains
5th August 2021
A stunning wood centrepiece at Kasbah Tamadot
15th July 2021
The Eve Branson Foundation in 2020
26th November 2020
Eve Branson Foundation update - June 2020
15th June 2020
Virtual Berber bread making class
20th May 2020
Kasabah Tamadot: The red gold
28th August 2019
Kasbah Tamadot: Meet our master tea-maker Mohammed
1st August 2019
Kasbah Tamadot: The valleys and villages of the Atlas Mountains
16th July 2019
Kasbah Tamadot: We're number one
Kasbah Tamadot: Sweet treats in the gardens
8th July 2019