Youth & Constitution Forum

In partnership with UNDP

The main objective of this project was to change the attitude and grow the interest of a group of 120 young unemployed graduates towards the participation in the public affairs and towards the new Tunisian constitution in particular. We chose to work on the marginalized region of Cité Tadhamon known for its high rate of unemployment, crime and poverty; and also for its low participation in 2011 elections.

When we talk about deprived areas whose residents suffer from marginalization and difficult economic and social conditions, we often think of the inner regions of Tunisia (Gasserine, Gafsa, Sidi Bouzid… etc.). And we often forget other geographic areas around the capital which are the site of an important marginalization and serious social and economic problems. It is this reason that prompted our organization to aim through its project at Cité Ettadhamen.

The project participants have been recruited through a thorough selection processes that included a street survey and four animated debate sessions in public cafés. All project activities have been planned and delivered by a small team of young graduate s also selected from the target region. Several evaluation techniques have been implanted in the project activities to assess the change in group’s perceptions along the 7 months period of various types of activities which included discussion forums, tournaments, training, debate sessions with deputies and performing mini-projects. The objectives that we set out for this project were as follows:

  1. Motivating 90 graduates unemployed aged 24-35 years, living in the city Ettadhamen towards a more positive social and political participation.
  2. Engage the participants in the public issues and political questions: Linking vocational integration and social participation and positive policy aid to vocational integration as a means of social and political integration.
  3. To simplify the content of the new Tunisian constitution by using non-formal education methods applied in a participatory training
  4. Promote the initiative and autonomy of young people to become actors of their lives.
  5. Get young people through an informal approach to better assimilate the fundamentals of the democratic governance and active citizenship at and reflecting the same time on their added value in their daily lives.

The results showed a high participation rate in the activities, low drop-outs and an observable enthusiasm in all project activities. Surveys also showed that the majority of the participants have registered to vote in the 2014 elections and have a better understanding of the constitution.

Testimonials:

Mr. Outaiel Dhraief:

Constitutional law professor and Youth Engagement Expert

I thank the participants for their valuable interventions that have helped to create an excellent learning atmosphere and for their high interest on the subject which made learning such heavy topic very entertaining for all of us. I think that these young people have a promising future especially when they find a mentoring and counselling that takes them out of negative thinking which I think is our role as civil society and youth engagement groups. What young are lacking is information on citizenship and the practicing the culture of dialogue which we were able to pass through exercises and activities. We also wanted this youth to become a component in the new democratic society we are building in Tunisia and pass c what the concepts and practices they learned here to their surroundings.

Ichrak Rhouma (Participant)

The main thing that attracted my attention is the extent of the knowledge I cumulated about the Constitution and to the atmosphere within the group which encouraged us to engage in the dialogue sessions, which we need to practice more. I also want to highlight the distinctive ambience within the forum which make youth excited and engaged all the time because it mixes fun and purposeful playing with learning. Not to forget to thank the trainers who helped us all along and gave a distinctive courses.

Noureddine Majrar (participant)

I really liked the methodology of this project in working with youth, I am now convinced that it is possible to motivate youth to engage in new civic activities to learn basic concepts that they didn’t know before, like the concept of the state, the citizenship and the constitution. I really wish to participate more in this project and get further training. I began to be more interested in being an active citizen and active member in the Tunisian civil society.

Mehrez Bukari (participants)

My experience in the CC-Forum project changed my conviction and my prior negative and foggy idea that I held for the Constitution to the positive, especially after the understanding of the text of the Constitution and grasping its content. And by the way I would like to call the youth of the region to join such a program so they can at least understand some of the concepts such as citizenship, freedoms and the mechanisms of democracy and how the state is functioning.

Photo of some of the project participants taken in the project closing ceremony

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