Hope for the Children of Kasserine Tunisia
Hope for the Children of Kasserine
Hope for the Children of Kasserine Tunisia
Kasserine: Yesterday, Crossroads of Ancient Civilizations
The region of Kasserine, Tunisia, in Western Tunisia was an important crossroads for trade routes and conquests from as early as antiquity. Prosperous during ancient times, this region is rich in archeological sites (over 102 classified sites), testimony to the civilizations that succeeded each other on this land, from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.
Today, a Region of Despair
Today, the people of this remote region are disadvantaged and marginalized. There is little infrastructure, only two main roads, and many people have no access to electricity. The life expectancy is low, and eight years after the Arab Spring, the youth of Kasserine is still in distress. Young graduates are unable to find employment. It is a region of despair, where its youth sometimes find refuge in drugs and alcohol. With few opportunities open to them, radicalization becomes attractive and young people can be easily recruited by terrorist groups entrenched in the nearby mountains.
Education: The Key to Success
We believe that education is the key to the success of future generations. Our project in Vietnam has proven that with a little help, we can help under-privileged youth continue to university. We feel we can help the children of Kasserine in the same way, so they remain in school and continue their education under the best possible conditions.
Factors contributing to a high dropout rate in schools
A study carried out in collaboration with a Delegation of the European Union in Tunisia revealed a school dropout rate of 63% in Kasserine during 2015-2016, in primary and secondary schools.
Some of the factors contributing to this high drop-out rate include the run-down infrastructures of some schools, the lack of leisure & sport activities, and the long distances to school, with little or no means of transport.
To help reduce this dropout rate, we propose reducing the factors contributing to the problem.
Our project in Kasserine encompasses several initiatives:
1. Collection and distribution of Autumn clothing and purchase of school supplies (currently underway)
2. Collection and distribution of Winter clothing and shoes , kits de santé, aliments de base (October-November 2019)
3. Purchase of bicycles for schoolchildren living far from school
4. Purchase of sports equipment for the school
5. Student Sponsorship
6. The development of micro-projects for sustainable entrepreneurship: Sports, Cultural holidays, workshops, home Stays
And, eventually an Educational Exchange between school children in France and Tunisia
Who Are We?
Outback Riviera is a small, non-profit organization created in 2012. Based in the South of France, our initiatives include local after school art workshops, and fundraising and cultural exchange missions with volunteers who share their knowledge in the missions of our association. One of our programs, ongoing since 2014, with a partner in Vietnam, offers support to a school and school children in a remote village in central Vietnam so that they can continue their studies under the best possible conditions.
Our team in Vietnam
Cindy Bearce-Maffini, Founder & President of Outback Riviera
Cindy Bearce-Maffini, Project Coordinator in France. Founder of Outback Riviera, an avid traveller, and adoptive parent with children from Vietnam.
Slah Mhamdi, Project Coordinator in Tunisia, Member Outback Riviera, Native of Kasserine, employed in the Tourism sector in Monastir, Tunisia.
Penelope Crowdy, Member of Outback Riviera in France, English Instructor, teaching English as a foreign language, and volunteer on several solidarity projects.
Supporting Children through Education
Through our 2018 "Duy Vinh Village Project" campaign on kisskissbankbank.com, we were able to raise funding to provide school supplies, and continue sponsoring the village school children in their studies. This project is a continuing success - several children sponsored by our efforts have finished high school and started university.
Our initiative in Tunisia is similar to our project in Vietnam; to raise funds to help these school children stay in school and continue their education in the best possible conditions (warm clothing and shoes, school supplies…) so they too can have a better future.
Let's give these children hope for their future by making their daily life a little easier.
Waar dient de collecte voor
Our initial objective is to help the children in Kasserine remain in school and continue their education by providing them with the means to do so, including bicycles to reach school for those far away, warm clothing and shoes for the harsh Winter months, basic school supplies, food for breakfast, sports equipment for the school. Our long-term objective is to encourage entrepreneurship among the already educated youth through the development of several micro-projects. This is a long-term project to be undertaken in steps. We have already begun initial steps of our project with the distribution of Autumn clothing in and school supplies in Kasserine, mid-September.
The funding raised through kisskissbankbank.com will be used for the following initiatives...
1. Collection and distribution of Winter clothes, and purchase of winter shoes for the children (200€)
2. Distribution of basic health kits to the school children (50€), and basic food staples to the neediest families (50€)
3. Purchase of bicycles for the children who are the farthest from school (500€)
4. Purchase of sports equipment for the school; using Sport to Combat Poverty (100€)
5. Student Scholarship Fund (50€ per child per year, approximately 350€)
6. Funds in Excess of our goal will help fund Micro-Projects: Sustainable entrepreneurship (sport activities, home stays, cultural workshops, sustainable tourism in Kasserine)
Distribution of Winter Clothing…
In Kasserine, most school children come from very modest families and are unable to afford the most basic necessities. children and their families, needed for the harsh Winter months. Surprisingly, this region of Tunisia is very hot in the Summer(30-40°c) but can be very cold in the Winter (0-12°c). In 2018 a cold snap brought snow to the region, and the people are ill prepared for this cold weather. (add map of the region). Many children do not have shoes to withstand the Winter months.
Working together with our local partner in Kasserine, our first initiative was to collect and distribute Autumn clothing, and we will be distributing Winter clothing and purchasing Winter shoes for the most needy children.
Distribution of School Supplies…
In addition to distributing basic clothing, we have also distributed school supplies to the school children mid-September.
During our next visit in November-December, we will be distributing basic health kits to each children, including soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste. Your donations will help us pay for these items.
Many of these children go to school having had little to eat. One of our initiatives is to distribute food to the neediest families to help sustain them through the school year.
Bicycles for Schoolchildren
There is little or no transportation to school here, so many children must walk great distances to school each day. This is especially difficult in the rude Winter months. Your donations will help us provide bicycles for the children who need them most so they can get to school easier.
Budget: 100€ per bicycle (500€ total)
Purchasing Sports Equipment
Participating in sports has health benefits, and combats poverty. It fosters social interaction and team spirit and can remove the inequalities between girls and boys. In most cultures worldwide, sport is an integral part of a child’s life, but for poor communities, participating in sports is not possible financially. Your donations will also purchase sports supplies for the school.
Our long-term plan is to develop sports activities within the school or in the village, to be run by a local youth entrepreneur.
Sports Equipment Budget : 200€
Depending on the success of our kisskissbankbank.com campaign, we hope to sponsor several children each year in pursuit of their higher education, setting up a yearly merit scholarship and eventually an educational and cultural exchange between our school in Tunisia and a school in France.
Budget 50€ per child per year (scholarship fund)
Funds exceeding our target amount will help us develop our micro-projects…
Several micro-projects will promote sustainable entrepreneurship through alternative tourism.(Sport activities, Home Stays, cultural workshops)
The youth of this region who complete their university education diploma are still unable to find employment, due to the extremely high unemployment rate in the region. Our long-term initiative is to encourage and support the creation of young entrepreneurs in the region, through the development of sustainable tourism in the region.
Tourism accounts for nearly 7% of Tunisia’s GDP, and employs close to 400,000 people. However, the seasonal nature of Tunisian tourism, lasts approximately three months, is dominated (95%) by mass coastal tourism (a source of environmental pressure on the natural resources and coastal areas, including water, waste pollution).
Tourism in Kasserine
Yet, the inland region of Kasserine is rich in history, remains undeveloped in comparison to the coastal “all inclusive” tourism.
Development of the “Sustainable Consumption and Production National Action Plan for Tunisia”is currently underway to ensure that tourism continues to be a driving factor in the country’s economy while reducing its ecological footprint. Supported by The World Bank, it is structured around two priority sectors: food and tourism.
Working alongside our local partner in Tunisia, Outback Riviera intends to develop and promote this region by developing year-round small group holidays for visitors interested in learning more about this rich inland region, its culture and its people far from the coastal mass tourism, to develop sustainable tourism and employment in the Kasserine region. This requires training local youth as young entrepreneurs so as to benefit the local population, and includes
- Sports: hiking, bike rental, bike tours, VTT excursions
- Culture: cooking workshops, cultural activities
- Alternative accommodations: local home stays
High Potential for Job Creation
We are convinced there is a high potential for job creation in the alternative tourism sector in the region due to its cultural richness, archeological sites and natural beauty. This would be just a first step towards reaching this potential, bringing sustainable tourism to the region with the long-term goal of helping to reduce the high unemployment rate for the young people of the region.
We count on your help to put our initiatives into action. The youth of Kasserine count on you to help improve their future.
Slah MHAMDI : Our Partner in Tunisia
Slah Mhamdi is our key partner in the field and will coordinate our efforts in Tunisia. Born in Kasserine, he lives in Monastir and currently works in the tourism industry.
In his youth, he also faced difficulties in continuing his education. He knows, first-hand the difficulties still faced by families, schoolchildren and youth in Kasserine, where most of his friends and family still live. He would like to see the younger generation of children in Kasserine have a better future. He will play a key role in seeing that our project is a success.
We count on your help to make our initiatives a reality. The young people of Kasserine are counting on you to help them improve their future.
Please Donate. Let's Give The youth of Kasserine Hope!
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