To address a growing lack of civic engagement among Tunisian youth, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) launched an original initiative called Hack4Democracy (H4D), a combination of democracy camps and hackathons which uses technology to engage youth in civic activism. IFES conducted six intensive four-day camps across Tunisia which resulted in youth aged 18 to 30 designing high and low-tech democracy service projects. At just 24 years old, Haythem Srihi is a member of the H4D finale’s winning team and a newly elected municipal councilor from the city of Jammel. Haythem’s success in both the H4D competition and in the May 6 municipal elections serves as a prime example of what Tunisian youth can achieve when they are given the tools to prosper and have the drive to overcome societal barriers. In addition to the challenges that Tunisian youth face today, including continued political and socio-economic marginalization, Haythem also has a physical disability, though he does not consider this an impediment to success.
Transcript in English of the video is below.
Roads, pits, bumps and stairs of my city “jammel” I know them more than my house. The difficulties can concern us, annoy us and embarrass us, but it can’t stop us. People with disabilities are partners in building our inclusive “Jammel” city. “Jammel” that unites us with all our differences. People with motor disabilities, the deaf, the blind and those who are looking for someone who understands them. You are the core of our responsibility. Sunday, May 6th, 2018 I will get up early in the morning, holding the Tunisian flag. I will wait before the polling station and I will vote. If you decide to give up on your voice, others will use your silence. Be on time - on May 6th – and vote for our list “Jammel Bledna.”