By Constanze Flamme

Discovering oneself and local communities in Tunisia

Mouna Alouini from Agende de la Démocratie in Kairouan, Tunisia, is a Tandem 360° participant. She used her mobility voucher to discover local organizations in Tunisia. In this story, Mouna shares her learnings and reflections from the trip.

I’m Mouna ALOUINI a Project Coordinator from Kairouan Tunisia and a Tandem 360° participant. In one word my experience with Tandem was about “Discovering”, through more than a year I was discovering different wonderful associations and professionals from the MENA region, learning and sharing my knowledge with them. I was also discovering new experiences, projects, activities and initiatives from different countries, but most of all, I was discovering myself as a human, my vision, my attitude, and my skills.

For my Mobility, my first choice was an online training about project management offered by The International Training Centre – ITC, and it was a real opportunity for me to sharpen my knowledge and my skills, unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned and I had difficulties dealing with the deadline of inscription and payment, so I decided to focus on another major point that directly connects with my professional needs: “Mapping”, noting that mapping in itself is a new concept that I’m still learning.

My Mobility grant was all about mapping and was divided into two parts:

The first part was about the mapping of associations and initiatives related to “alternative tourism” in the north-west region, the eastern coast of Tunisia and in Kairouan, the main goal was to discover alternative tourism in those regions and to have an idea about the reality, needs, and potentials of alternative tourism.

Through my journey, I met inspiring people and discovered beautiful experiences, such as Mr. Mounir HADIJI a local guide from Ain Drahem in the north of Tunisia, who turned his love for his hometown into a passion. Mounir offers a whole experience to his guests from a simple lodging, to guided tours, to the opportunity to try outdoor sportive activities.

Another discovery was the association of ASSAK (Association de soutien des artisanes de Kroumirie) that is totally composed of women who are devoted to promoting local handicrafts and helping at the same time guaranteeing an income to the craftswomen who collaborate with the association.

In another part of Tunisia I met Mr. Abderahim Bouneb who is an owner of a typic restaurant in the heart of the old medina of Kairouan, Abderahim is a big knower of the old city and instead of giving a “classic” service, he decided to go deep in his concept that’s still developing by offering the opportunity to his guests to discover the city through a local’s eyes, the streets, the food, the hidden mysterious treasure of the medina that surprises even the people who know very well the city.

So many other surprises were in the way and from a town to another I was impressed with the potentials and devotion of the creative people that I had met, I had also learned and discovered new initiatives that with support can develop into real social success stories, which’s something I want to work on.

By Constanze Flamme

The second part of my Mobility was also about Mapping, but more about learning – it was dedicated to participating in theatre workshops in rural areas. The concept of the workshops was to take theatre to rural marginalized communities, to involve them in theatre activities, and to communicate about the importance of theatre and the role of theatre and arts in general in the development of communities. During several days we met and worked with wonderfully talented men and women and get to know different local associations. The workshops were a real opportunity for me to learn more about theatre and the rule of arts in local development.

As a social worker, discovering new experiences is essential for my professional development, that’s why my Mobility was used to discovering and mapping. The places were chosen depending on potential areas in which, my association can collaborate to implement projects. Currently, we are studying the collected information and we started drafting project proposals.