Ambassador Donald Blome joined Acting Minister of Youth and Sports and Professional Integration, Sihem Ayadi, Governor of Tunis, Chedly Bouallegue, and Mayor of Le Kram, Fathi Layouni to inaugurate the newly refurbished Youth Center in Le Kram. USAID funded the modernization of this space to provide the youth of Le Kram with more recreational activities in honor of Major Taoufik Missaoui who sacrificed his life in the March 6, 2020 terrorist attack in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis.
Over the last two years, the U.S. government has provided more than $138 million Tunisian Dinars ($50 million) in funding to support local organizations that are improving the lives of millions of youth in communities across the country.
Miss Sihem Ayadi, Mr. Mounir Ksiksi, Governor Chedly Bouallegue, Mayor Fathi Layouni, Miss Hanen Gaha Zarrad, Madam Rafika Missaoui, and guests, good morning.
It is a pleasure to be with you at the inauguration of this refurbished youth center in Le Kram, which we are dedicating to Major Taoufik Missaoui, the police officer who lost his life in the suicide attack near the US Embassy last year in March 2020.
Officer Taoufik Missaoui lived in this neighborhood, and to honor him, USAID invested 385,420 TND ($140,000) to modernize this youth center. Officer Taoufik Missaoui’s wife is here with us today. Madam Rafika Missaoui, we continue to feel for your loss.
Today’s inauguration of the Le Kram Youth Center symbolizes the U.S. Embassy’s commitment to investing in Tunisia’s youth, through our programs that equip youth with the necessary tools to assess the needs of their communities and collectively propose concrete solutions such as starting the first web radio in Kram youth center.
For the last two years the Ma3an project has helped youth develop communication skills and talents that continue to make them engaged, creative, and employable citizens. This is the 10th youth center USAID has refurbished in Tunisia, with 16 more planned over the next year.
In addition to these efforts to modernize Tunisia’s network of youth centers through the Ma3an program, the U.S. Government funds 250 Tunisian students and professionals to travel to the United States each year on fully funded US government exchange programs.
Thank you again for inviting me to attend today’s ceremony to celebrate this Youth Center’s inauguration in Le Kram. I wish everyone continued safety, and I salute your spirit of giving and resiliency during these challenging times.