DEMENA: Tunisia project gets kick started for 2016

This February, the first instructor seminar was kicked off in Monastir. At the seminar, 20 youths from all over Tunisia; who later on were tested on their organizational and technical capabilities in Sayda, where they had 24 hours to orchestrate an Open Fun Football School in cooperation with the Tunisian Sports For All-Federation (TSFA).
On February 25th, the seminar was opened at Rosa Beach hotel in Monastir, with youths from all-over the country; some came from the Algerian and Libyan borders, the desert of the south, the coastal paradise of the east and north and also from the city, where the Arab spring started, the city of the Revolution; Sidi Bouzid.
For three days they went through classes with theoretical work, mixed with practical exercises; equipping them with the knowledge to hold 10 OFFS’, 2 Coaching Seminars and a major festival for thousands of participants. The instructor seminar was on the final day, which included a display school: in fact a grand opening of a football school.
The challenges were many for the young volunteers; the school was opened in one of the most neglected cities in the country (Sayda), where the resources were limited, planning was almost impossible and the infrastructure was almost non-existent.
But the coaches managed to hold a school for 93 children, put up a DJ-stand, had a MC, used the equipment they had in their own disposal and on top of that had invited some of the more prominent members of the security apparatus in the city. All within 24 hours.
The head of the security in the city, which is currently under pressure from radical groups and gangs, said after the festival; “this is the most effective way to fight against criminals and extremists, this is a victory for the youth”. The new school will be under a regional guidance of the 20-man nationwide instructor team, whom will provide coaches to the school through the next two major coaching seminars and also recruit coaching assistants from the local neighborhoods.
Some of the invited to the opening of the schools were the – as the chief of the security apparatus put it – “rascals of the neighborhood”. Their tough demeanor diminished as the festival had progressed; in the final phase they were active participants of the festival as assistants.
When the local social media outlet asked one of the boys what he thought about the festival, he answered; “I’ve always wished something like this happened when I was a kid, but nonetheless, I can be the coach of my little brothers team and play against the other teams managed by my friends.
Honestly, we didn’t want to come at first because we usually end up getting disappointed with the empty promises, but this actually happened before our eyes. So we had a lot of fun today with Mr. Henning from CCPA and the instructors.
I hope this continues, it’s been some time since me and the boys have used our time productively.” The project kick-start showed the volunteers who we want to target; in Tunisia there is an alarming amount of unemployment amongst the educated, which leaves the country with a lot of human resources unused. They are the ones who are the instructors of our project in Tunisia.
They are the role models for all other coaching staff in the project, as it continues. On the other hand, the coaches will be collected from the federations of the TSFA, the best sports coaches from each federation, whom will become the future of Tunisian grassroots sports.
Whilst the coaching assistants will be, such as the local youths of Sayda, those who feel left out by the society, neglected by the upper-levels of politics, those who have no where to turn or go other than the “quick alternative solutions” some radical groups offer for an easy way out of this life, or the gangs who promise “easy and fast” money.
As for this project in Tunisia: CCPA & TSFA provide something vastly different. A Tunisian youth, provided with a sense of responsibility for their own community, country and future.

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