SOS Children`s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Tunisia).

Mahrès is a small coastal town in central Tunisia with a population of approximately 36,000 people. The economy of the region is based on fishing, and olive and almond tree cultivation. Mahrès' agricultural industry draws many unskilled workers and single mothers with no professional qualifications to the city. They hope to find employment here. In many cases, however, they end up eking out a living in the informal sector, which makes their lives very insecure and puts children at the risk of losing the care of their parents.

Since 2000, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Mahrès.

Of children experience physical punishment

Physical punishment

89% of Tunisian children have been subjected to physical punishment. Violent discipline at home is the most common form of violence against children. This can be especially harmful at a young age, because there is an increased risk of physical injuries. Children cannot understand the reasons behind the abuse or adopt coping strategies. Physical and psychological aggression often happen at the same time. The consequences of violent discipline range from immediate effects to long-term damage that affect children through their childhood and into adulthood.

Rise in temperature in Tunisia since 1901

Climate change affecting lives

Tunisia is projected to experience annual temperature increases from 1.9°C to 5.3° by the 2080s. Climate change makes Tunisia very vulnerable to natural disasters like droughts, floods and storms. The rise of the rising sea-level is also worrisome as the coastal regions of the country are densely populated. Already, the country has been impacted more and more frequently by extreme weather occurrences. Climate change also deeply affects water resources, agriculture, livestock and ecosystems, as well as the health and tourism sectors.

Your support makes a difference for children in Mahrès

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Can stay together
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children and young people in our care attend kindergarten, school and further training. In recent years, digital literacy has become increasingly important. (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Tunisia).

How your support helps in Mahrès

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.