MAD path: Towards a Community of Socially Responsible Youth in Tunisia

MAD path: Towards a Community of Socially Responsible Youth in Tunisia


Text by: Yasmine Nsiri


Category: Civic Engagement


It was a hot late summer night in Washington DC Southwest when two young enthusiasts one from Tunisia and the other one from North Macedonia started to speak about how the two countries share similar experiences, mind-set and societal issues. Being Community Solutions Program fellows, the two youngsters had the chance to spend 4 months working in US based hubs for social and creative businesses. Seeing first-hand how community development and circular economy is supported in the United States, they came up with an idea: to transfer all the know-how they gain from their fellowship stay to their home countries and to inspire exchange between Southeast Europe and Tunisia. That summer night the organization MAD path was born: with a clear aim to build the next generation of youth, personally and professionally empowered and eager to advance the communities they live in.
"The difference between MAD path and other youth NGOs operating in Tunisia is that we aim to inspire cooperation, not just between youth in the country and relevant stakeholders, but also with youth organizations from Southeast Europe and United States. We want to bring the best know-how from United States and Europe closer to Tunisian youth, to empower them to be the creators of changes in their society and to move the country forward. We started with small community actions, raising the awareness of Tunisian youth about the persisting social issues and through workshops and seminars, providing them with the necessary tools to develop solutions to the community problems. The next step is the action itself - making Tunisia better, thanks to its youth!", explains Ahmed Louisi, one of the core team members of the organization.
One of the first steps in creating the next generation of socially responsible Tunisian youth was the STEP UP programme, a set of workshops organized in cooperation with the American Center of US Embassy in Tunis, where the participants had the chance to learn more about idea-generation, social business modelling, pitching, project writing and branding and storytelling. The workshops were enhanced with concrete success stories from USA and Southeast Europe and a lot of learning by doing exercises to stimulate real experience of the participants on the topic covered. Up to 200 participants benefited from those workshops, with 2/3 of them demonstrating clear willingness and readiness to take an action and implement the knowledge. MAD path has also cooperated with different stakeholders, such as coworking spaces in the Tunisian capital, non-profit organizations and local businesses.
"The added value of the services MAD path provides is the unique methodology of youth empowerment: sharing personal stories and experiences of the team, combining methods from formal and non-formal education and helping youngsters to go out of the comfort zone, by providing coaching and mentoring.", adds Ahmed.
Another important initiative the organization has initiated is creating a pool of volunteers - young people that will benefit from mobility and exchanges abroad and will come back to their country to implement what they have learned. This group is encouraged after their mobility experience abroad to make small community initiatives in different parts of Tunisia, but for now, mostly in the capital, starting from group clean up actions, through planting trees, making small sport competitions, spreading entrepreneurship culture, organizing workshops etc. They hope in future such initiatives will be recognized by the relevant stakeholders and that they can benefit from additional funding so they can scale up what they are doing. And while MAD path proves to be an example that each little positive action we take makes the world a better place to live it, it also stands as a witness that it is not that difficult to start something and to grow it. At last, on that amazing journey, you do not only grow the organization or the community, but also you grow yourself: discovering your potentials, maximizing your talents and reaching new heights.