October Alum of the Month – Wajdi Hamza 

October Alum of the Month – Wajdi Hamza

Good governance can only be established by establishing maximum levels of trust in public institutions and government officials; this motto is a central belief of MEPI Leaders for Development (LDF) Alum Wajdi Hamza and the guiding force behind all his initiatives.

Wajdi’s participation in the 2018 MEPI LDF program inspired him to play a more active role to impact the world around him.  When Wajdi applied for the program, he felt prepared and had strong motives to support his community, change it, and engage in public affairs.  As a lawyer he focused on the challenges facing young people due to a lack of opportunities, empowerment, and effective participation in many fields.  He realized, however, that success requires a team effort, and that he could not act alone.

At the beginning of his participation in the LDF program, Wajdi felt a huge difference, a feeling that came from the fact that other participants were more experienced and knowledgeable of civil society and were more involved in the general interests of their respective societies.

“This program has honestly rearranged many things in my mind, the most important of which is that the main reason for failure, regardless of all other reasons, lies in the planning method and the preparation of implementation tools – something I never learned before the program,” Wajdi shared.

MEPI provided Wajdi and all MEPI alumni with a platform to exchange ideas and opportunities.  “Everyone I met during the program and during the implementation of my projects spared no effort to encourage and support me to achieve my goals,” Wajdi added.

The Citoyen-Gov initiative was Wajdi’s main activity, which he started following his participation in the LDF program.  It stems from his assessment that a society suffering from a trust deficit does not succeed, and that public trust within a community is key to strengthening the social fabric. Wajdi and his team made it their priority to help build public trust.  Their approach was to gather as many groups and individuals as possible to participate in practical dialogues aimed at meeting common needs.

It all started with the implementation of several “citizen cafés,” which created common spaces for citizens, subject matter experts, and decision makers to discuss and collaborate on initiatives that benefit their local community.  The joint efforts were meant to reverse low levels of public confidence and address the root causes of crimes, immigration, and the informal economy.

Wajdi later implemented the first “virtual national consultation,” focused on an economic and social vision for Tunisia in 2025, including an action plan for local and national authorities.

Wajdi spared no effort to support his community.  He was very active for three consecutive years in the MEPI Day of Service.  In 2020, he launched a virtual fundraising challenge for the Ministry of Health’s 1818 Fund to counter the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021 Wajdi conducted a virtual workshop entitled “Coronavirus: Updates, Fallacies, and Fake News” with representatives from health institutions, researchers, and other health sector actors.  The speakers dispelled many misconceptions, explained data, and countered misinformation that was circulating at the time.

In 2022, Wajdi promoted the historic city of Makthar in Siliana by organizing Taekwondo training sessions for youth at the Maktaris archeological site.  The initiative aimed to promote the region and counter violence by engaging youth in sports’ activities.  “I hope that every citizen and young person in Tunisia will have the opportunity to participate in such an amazing program” Wajdi declares, noting how the experience prepares participants for social and professional challenges, and raises their chances of success.