Our recent initiative is in the region of Kasserine, Tunisia. The region of Kasserine, in Western Tunisia was an important crossroads for trade routes and conquests from as early as antiquity. Prosperous during ancient times, this region is rich in archeological sites (over 102 classified sites), testimony to the civilizations that succeeded each other on this land, from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.

Today, the people of this remote region are disadvantaged and marginalized. There is little infrastructure, only two main roads, and many people have no access to electricity. The life expectancy is low, and eight years after the Arab Spring, the youth of Kasserine is still in distress. Young graduates are unable to find employment. It is a region of despair, where its youth sometimes find refuge in drugs and alcohol. With few opportunities open to them, radicalisation becomes attractive and young people can be easily recruited by terrorist groups entrenched in the nearby mountains.

We believe that education is the key to the success of future generations. Our project in Vietnam has proven that with a little help, we can help under-privileged youth continue to university. We feel we can help the children of Kasserine in the same way, so they remain in school and continue their education under the best possible conditions.

 

Our project in Kasserine encompasses several initiatives:

  1. Collection and distribution of Autumn clothing and purchase of school supplies (currently underway)
  2. Collection and distribution of Winter clothing and shoes , kits de santé, aliments de base (October-November 2019)
  3. Purchase of bicycles for schoolchildren living far from school
  4. Purchase of sports equipment for the school
  5. Student Sponsorship
  6. The development of micro-projects for sustainable entrepreneurship: Sports, Cultural holidays, workshops, home Stays

And, eventually an Educational Exchange between school children in France and Tunisia

Our initial objective is to help the children in Kasserine remain in school and continue their education by providing them with the means to do so, including bicycles to reach school for those far away, warm clothing and shoes for the harsh Winter months, basic school supplies, food for breakfast, sports equipment for the school. Our long-term objective is to encourage entrepreneurship among the already educated youth through the development of several micro-projects. This is a long-term project to be undertaken in steps. We have already begun initial steps of our project with the distribution of school supplies and winter clothing in 2019.

 

 

Slah Mhamdi, notre partenaire en Tunisie

 Slah Mhamdi is our key partner in the field and will coordinate our efforts in Tunisia. Born in Kasserine, he lives in Monastir and currently works in the tourism industry. In his youth, he also faced difficulties in continuing his education. He knows, first-hand the difficulties still faced by families, schoolchildren and youth in Kasserine, where most of his friends and family still live. He would like to see the younger generation of children in Kasserine have a better future. He will play a key role in seeing that our project is a success.

 

 

 

 

Typical Classroom

 

We often take education for granted. But in Southeast Asia, Access to education is often difficult. Children in Vietnam attend school for an average of only 5 years. Access to primary school education has progressed considerably, but enrollment in secondary education level is not as strong. The number of out-of-school children in rural areas is almost as twice as high as in urban areas.

 

Riding to school on bikes

 

Secondary schools are often located too far from home or the children must often help contribute to the household income. Education is valuable as our most effective tool for personal empowerment For this reason, we have combined our efforts to see that the children of the remote island of Duy Vinh Vietnam.The aim of our project is to raise money to help the children in the remote village of Duy Vinh to continue their education, and under better circumstances.

Duy Vinh is an island located about 5 kilometers from the town of Hoi An in Central Vietnam. Almost 300 impoverished families live on this island, and 72 children currently attend the elementary school. The families on the island live from minimum revenue made mostly from weaving mats, and recently they have less work due to the less expensive machine-made mats. They do not have the means to provide a decent education for their children. School uniforms and supplies are costly and oftern the parents need their children to help with work to support the family. There are few children on the island that are able to continue their schooling beyond elementary school. Most parents cannot afford to purchase a bicycle so their child may travel to school, which can often be located many kilometers from their villages.

The Duy Vinh Project is a joint project run by the association Outback Riviera in the South of France and Heaven & Earth Bicycle located in the town of Hoi An in Central Vietnam. In Vietnam, Heaven & Earth Bicycle helps support the people of the village through equitable tourism, hiring local guides, charity tours, and offering the remote island of Duy Vinh an opportunity to benefit from small groups of tourists visiting the island on bicycle. Heaven & Earth Bicycle had been purchasing school supplies and uniforms for the school children for several years before Outback Riviera’s involvement in 2014 and efforts to raise funding for the children to continue their education.

In 2016 each international class of the Institute Fenelon began sponsoring a child’s education and the classes continue to sponsor the child each year. Nine children are currently being sponsored, but we would like to be able raise funds to sponsor the 27 children in the school so they each have an equal opportunity to an education.

 

Presenting Sports Equipment to School        Our Sponsored Students  Our Team with School Staff

                                                            

The Team

Cindy Bearce-Maffini, Project Coordinator in France. Founder of Outback Riviera and adoptive parent with children from Vietnam.

Pascal Rousseau, Project Coordinator in Vietnam. Co-owner of Heaven & Earth Bicycle in Hoi An Vietnam and originator of the Duy Vinh School project

Alexandre Maffini, Liaison with Universities. Born in Phu Tho, Vietnam, Currently a third year language student at University of Aix-Marseille

Emily Maffini, Liaison with Institute Fenelon. Born in Da Nang, Vietnam, currently in her final year at the Lycée Fenelon Grasse

 

Computer room before donation     New Computers  

 

Our Actions Since 2014 with the generous aid of the Institut Fenelon, Grasse...

2014  Sports Equipment for the School

2015  Computer Equipment for the School

2016  Sponsorship of 8 children in their continued studies; primary school, high school

2017  Sponsorship of 8 children in their continued studies; primary school, high school, university

2018  Sponsorship of 27 primary school children in their studies, Goal: 1500€

2019  Outback Riviera begins sponsoring 5 primary school students

 We are proud to learn that the first of the students we had sponsored successfully finished their studies.

 

 

 

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