My name is Yosser Belghith, I am 23 years old, I come from the south of Tunisia, and to be more specific, Medenine.
From my very childhood I found myself interested in different set of activities, arts (painting, poetry…) Sports (Handball) and even politics (I was elected to represent the children of Medenine in the Tunisian child parliamentary, and I did spoke up for them.
However one thing was in common between these different activities, which is my love for Medenine, and wanting to present it in these activities as good as possible.
As I grew up I have always loathed the fact that the Tunisian people didn’t know my beautiful Medenine, and worse, they had only negative prejudices about it and its people, so I decided that I should do something and start working on changing that, starting from working on myself.
I went to Tunis Business School to have the right knowledge in how to manage projects and improve my professional vision of the future, I got selected to represent Tunisia in the US department of state as a Woman Leader in Tunisia so that I can work on my leadership skills, and when I felt like I am finally getting things clearer in my head about what I want to do, I applied to the Moving community program in Madird, and I was chosen from among more than 600 people from Europe and the MENA region to be one of the 50 finalists to present and work on their projects in the Idea camp in Madrid.
Now I can say I have a better vision about what I want to do in Medenine, I want to start a mixture of a cultural and a co-working space.
This hub will be the home for artists, intellectuals and entrepreneurs (We don’t have such a space in Medenine) where they will develop their knowledge and skills through giving people a more focused sense of purpose by fusing different set activities, workshops, and exchange programs. It will be a meeting point between the youth, the NGOs, funders, programs, embassies, governmental institutions… that want to create positive changes in the region and support the youngsters.
The major hypothesis is basically to integrate the youth from the point zero, in a manner that makes them, the one who make the space, and not us. When having a focus group we reached a conclusion that, to let the target become active, we have to provide them with OPPORTUNITIES to learn, to observe and to act.
The space’s target group are the youth of the region, aged between (17–35), they are divided into three major niches:
- 17-19: High School Students, that we will focus on during the whole year, with different activities and events.
- 20-25: College Students, they come back home mainly in the summer, so the major focus on them will be during June-July-August-September, we will dedicate them different kind of events and activities, that matches with their needs.
- 25-35: Unemployed or not satisfied with their current jobs, we will work with them during the whole year as well, but the activities and events will be more into entrepreneurship and providing them with opportunities that suits them.
The involvement of these niches will be the core of this project, since this project is dedicated to them, we will have to make them be part of it and feel like it belongs to them.
We will basically invest in the target people that will, themselves, invest in the people surrounding them and so on, which will help us spread the idea in a faster and smoother way, the idea that is based on EQUALIY, SOLIDARITY, and SUSTAINABILITY. Those youth are the future of Medenine, they are the ones who hold the keys to break all the stereotypes about the region and to change their current passive situation.
We aim to start with artistic activities, once the space is launched, we will work on fusing arts in the streets of Ben Guerden where ISIS tried to start its caliphate, by spreading colors and life in the walls of those streets. Then making theater pieces and musical shows in all of Medenine, so that we can bring life to people and show them another perspective of living that they have been avoiding.
The point of this project, is to change a whole position of a region, a region that has witnessed terrorism, ISIS, refugees, illegal immigration, unemployment… yet, it is still stuck in the same position, we believe that it is up to us to change that, and to create a positive impact in it that will definitely create more opportunities for the future generations.
I believe that belonging to large community will help me have another perspective of my project, through this network and the different great people helping each other I will be able to have a more productive brainstorming that will make me have a more focused tools to make the project a successful one, through the chats and the discussion, I will be able to peel off the general idea and get instead different details of how the project will be like in terms of the activities, financial sustainability and the technical knowledge.
So that is my story, I am that little girl who grew up to be this young woman holding her dream for 23 years, and believing in it and its beautiful positive impact over the whole region.