Investing in Tunisia’s hidden potential

Despite economic challenges and democratic decline, Tunisia’s vulnerable youth hold immense potential. With increased access to education, skills training and support, they are given a voice that becomes a catalysts for positive change.

Tunisian Youth at the inauguration of new youth center in Town in Metouia, Gabes Governorate, South of Tunisia.

Investing in youth has proven to break the cycle of poverty and inequality. Ongoing programs have shown that, through mentorship and support networks, youth are better able to overcome obstacles while seeing increased engagement in civic spaces. This, too, contributes significantly to fostering democratic values and promoting social cohesion in Tunisia.

Since the Dutch Embassy in Tunisia received funds under the Ruel of Law programs in 2019, they have invested in youth programs all over the country. One of the central prerequisites of this support was that the programs support the voices of youth and enable them to become drivers of change. Because of this, the embassy chose to support project Tamkeen; an empowerment project by the UNDP with a heavy focus on youth.

In line with this, the Dutch ambassador in Tunis has inaugurated one of two NL funded youth centers in the Southern, marginal, communities of Tunisia. These newly renovated and now attractive youth spaces are becoming a hub for young people to come together, learn new skills, and engage in various activities that promoted personal growth and community involvement.

Netherlands ambassador to Tunisia, H.E Josephine Frantzen with his excellency Minister of Youth and Sport Kamel Deguiche inaugurating a youth center in Metouia, Gabes Governorate, Tunisia.

The centers show impressive results when looked at youth in civic space. Joint initiatives with civil society organizations and youth centers have been sprouting all over: more than 68 impactful youth-led activities were supported by the Dutch embassy. These initiatives enhanced the diversity of activities and services available for young Tunisians while strengthening their ability to mobilize and advocate for change.

The emphasis on partnerships between the Dutch embassy and local organization have shown to be fruitful, whereas it creates a space in which opportunities and obstacles can be discussed freely. This, too, has proven to be imperative for establishing sustainable impact.

Team from Dutch embassy to Tunisia and DSH colleagues participating in a youth round-table to listen to their needs at national and local levels.

The support of the Kingdom of Netherlands in combination with the collaborative efforts of civil society organizations and local youth allow young generations in Tunisia to pave the way for a brighter future.

These partnerships have shown to empower youth positively, which has resulted in enabled youth serve their communities in the best way possible. By nurturing their talents and ambitions, they will be able to overcome barriers and build a better tomorrow for themselves and the future generations.