Local charity organizations in South Tunisia are welcoming migrants from other African countries to merge in the under-developed southern city of Medenine to train the migrants how to sow.
Bintou from Ivory Coast shared her excitement and appreciation of her gained inner confidence thanks to sewing lessons offered at a day centre.
According to her, the centre is run by the Support of Migrants organization, an initiative by eight Tunisian medical outfits that offers support to mainly female migrants.
She added “When I am at this association, it is as if I were at home in Ivory Coast. And here when Zeineb ,member of the coalition sees us stressed, she organizes a small party, she puts on music, she invites us to dance and we laugh. We forget our problems, it’s like that here”.
Three women from different nationalities who learnt French also thanked the umbrella of eight Tunisian medical charities in a wider North Africa region, often far from welcoming.
The Coalition of Humanitarian Association of Medenine of Tunisia said When they saw the increasing number of migrants, they said to themselves why not create a structure that brings us all together and helps these migrants who are in our region. That was what led them into creating this initiative .
Over the last decade, the number of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa arriving in Tunisia has grown substantially.
They range from foreign workers displaced from Libya to asylum seekers and new immigrants looking for work in Tunisia.
In the last six months alone, 1,000 people who embarked from Libya to Europe have been picked up in Mediterranean waters by Tunisian vessels, and ended up in the country, according to the International Organization for Migration.
The danger of such crossings was the focus when over 60 migrants disappeared or died as two boats sank in less than 72 hours off Tunisia.
With the country moist in an economic crisis that leaves it unable to meet the needs of its own citizens, migrants are low on the list of political priorities.
Two reception centres managed by UN agencies were established in Medenine in 2014 and 2015, but were quickly engulfed.
These limitations prompted the Organization for the Support of Migrants to form and move into action and in a long run creating a job opportunity for them.