Youth Work in Tunisia After the Revolution

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There are moments in history when ordinary activities taken on extraordinary importance. The youth revolution in Tunisia in 2011 is one such moment. Tired of the indignity of repression, Tunisian youth rose up to begin what became the Arab Spring. It is against this backdrop that the EuroMed Youth program considering the implications of this uprising for youth work programs in Tunisia. In 2012, Tunisian youth continued to face many of the same challenges they faced before: high unemployment, exclusion, and disillusion. However, there are signs of hope. A new legal framework guaranteeing freedom of association has given life to new associations. These have brought fresh life into associative life in Tunisia, but many organizations find themselves unready, because of capacity or funding restraints, to address the considerable problems youth face in Tunisian communities. Youth culture in Tunisia is characterized by many of the same divisions that exist in society as a whole. Regional disparities, an educational system in need of reform, and a severely restricted labor market are all contributing factors to the problems faced by young people in Tunisia. Against this new landscape, the Tunisian youth work structure has remained largely intact. The Tunisian government offers a wide range of services to young people to facilitate civic life through a variety of institutions. These services include employment, training opportunities (including: vocational training, skills training, and self-employment), civic participation, and recreational activities. These form the basis of Tunisia’s comprehensive youth program. However, there are difficulties in coordinating these services across the agencies, leading to fragmented coverage, ambiguity and overlap in roles. “Youth work in Tunisia after the revolution” is part of a new collection of publications dedicated to Youth Work in Mediterranean (MEDA) partner countries. This collection aims to support cooperation within the EuroMed area and to provide an in-depth reflection on current issues and challenges in youth work in the Euro-Mediterranean context. Changes across the MEDA region have shown the importance of finding new perspectives for the challenges of youth work in the region and the importance of young people in shaping the new dynamics in these countries. This study aims to contribute to the overall thinking about youth work in Tunisia after the 2011 revolution and to provide new tools for understanding the shifting landscape. The specific focus of this study is to provide an overview of the ongoing situation in youth work in Tunisia and the changes of youth work and services after the revolution, with a particular focus on how youth work is responding to the demands of young people in the post revolutionary period, with an emphasis on social inclusion, employment, and civic participation.


Erik Churchill

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