New Humanity landed in Tunisia in January 2023. How is this first year of collaboration going? We’ll tell you about it briefly.
After a series of assessments and on-site visits during 2022, we chose a local partner who seemed reliable, serious and collaborative, and who carries out projects in line with our mission: “Amal pour la famille et l’enfant“.
We therefore identified the priority area in which we could collaborate and their need emerged in the south of Tunisia, in Tozeur, where they have an educational project that was struggling to move forward. After joint planning and fundraising work, we started the project together: After-school and educational support for children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Tozeur, funded by the PIME foundation.
Young people represent around 30% of the Tunisian population, but the school dropout rate in the country is very high, particularly between the ages of 12 and 16. Official estimates indicate that in Tunisia every year 100,000 children drop out of school before the age of 16. Cases of early abandonment (from the age of 9) are also increasing. This phenomenon is due both to the spread of poverty and to growing psychological distress among young people. At a national level, there is a lack of a support network for young people, both in school and outside school, to prevent cases of social hardship and deviance.
The Ras Dheraa neighborhood is located north of the city of Tozeur and was formed following the arrival of Bedouin populations in the city. Most of the population of the neighborhood lived from tourism, whose activities suffered a sharp decline in 2010, following the Islamic attacks in Tunisia, and a further setback in 2020 following the Covid19 epidemic. The closure of hotels and all school activities led to an increase in the youth unemployment rate, particularly among young people with a high school diploma who were employed in the sector, and had the indirect consequence of encouraging younger people to abandon the school, noting that possession of a diploma did not guarantee employment.
The Amal association had already started an after-school and scholastic support center in the neighbourhood, which welcomed 56 children between the ages of 6 and 25. At the center the children receive both scholastic support and have the opportunity to participate in civic education, socialization and cultural activities, as an opportunity to discover and develop their talents. The center has become a real point of reference for families in the neighborhood, but due to the limited means available it is unable to accommodate all the requests it receives.
The project developed together, therefore, set itself the objective of guaranteeing educational support to 120 students in the Ras Dheraa district of Tozeur, thus doubling the previous capacity of the center and also including various socialization and training activities.
Now the first year of the collaboration is coming to an end but the children involved have responded enthusiastically to the proposed activities and their scholastic performances have significantly improved. 137 children were able to participate in after-school activities and also be involved in extra-curricular activities, the parents of the neighborhood were made aware and trained on parenting and some also participated in literacy courses.
All in all, a great success!
We have therefore decided to continue this beautiful partnership, also including strengthening the local partner and strengthening the skills of the staff involved.
A precious collaboration that promises many fruits, we will keep you updated!