Ma3an (“Together” in Arabic), is a USAID-funded program that seeks to increase youth participation in civic and political life, address youth grievances, and prevent radicalizations in Tunisian communities vulnerable to violent extremism. 


  • The Ma3an project will increase the capacity of communities to withstand political, social, and economic stresses and shocks. The project will spur 33 of Tunisia’s most vulnerable communities to action and generate sustainable resources for development in areas that are vulnerable to instability and violent extremism.
  • IREX leverages its positive youth development expertise and network of youth in Tunisia to engage a youth mentor network to provide marginalized youth with peer support. Youth mentors will be trained in information literacy (Learn to Discern curriculum); positive storytelling; essential soft skills (YES curriculum); principles of monitoring, evaluation, and learning; and peer mentoring. Youth mentors will then reproduce the trainings for youth in target communities by holding storytelling events, engaging in Professional Insight visits, and providing one-on-one mentoring sessions.
  • Professional Insight Days held by youth mentors in marginalized communities and training activities held in coordination with the Young Tunisian Coders Academy will provide engagement opportunities for youth in target communities that capitalize on technology and innovation.  
In the past, we have tried to bring in therapists, educators, and even psychologists to support our youth, but we have never seen an approach that worked so well. These Storytelling sessions were extremely positive to our youth, I have never seen them as energized or as active as today.” Sidi Abdelhamid community, Youth Center Director

Quick Facts

  • 98% of our mentees reported achieving their session goals
  • 50.5% female participation rate
  • 40 active Youth Mentors across 12 communities

Project Activities

  • Youth mentors selection and training: Cohort 3 of 48 youth mentors will be selected through a competitive process to serve their communities during the period of 2021–2022. These exemplary youth attend an 8-day training of trainers to build essential soft skills such as critical thinking, information media, empathy, storytelling, and employability skills. Mentors are equipped with tools to provide community youth with peer support, skills development, and professional networking opportunities. Youth mentors develop event coordination and project management skills as they implement community activities for fellow youth. The mentors support marginalized youth empowerment and community stability by improving the skills and abilities that are necessary for future opportunities and working together to enhance their community’s resilience.
  • Community events implemented by youth mentors: After the training of trainers, youth mentors conduct:
    • Storytelling events: Build empathy, foster social bonds, and introduce diverse youth voices to the communities.
    • Learn to Discern Trainings: Support youth resilience to misinformation and the critical consumption of media and information as well as exposure to technology and innovation, through IREX's Learn to Discern methodology.
    • Professional Insight Days: Build a stronger professional and peer network and expose community youth participants to career opportunities.
    • Mentor Sessions: Provide peer support to community youth through conducting peer-to-peer mentoring.
Before Ma3an came, I never believed in civic society, it always seemed like a waste of time, but this is different, the way these activities bring people together for a higher purpose made me change my perception of community service. I am now extremely active in my community, jumping on every activity I can get my hands on and I am happy to share that I am on my way to getting my certification as a coach to become a positive influence myself.” Youth participant




  • Civil Society
  • Leadership
  • Youth
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Tunisia