Tunisian Youth Lead COVID-19 Response – Oumaima Dhahri

Oumaima Dhahri, a youth participant in the USAID – US Agency for International Development sponsored Ma3an Tunisia project, decided to put her abilities to use to help her country’s response to the spread of COVID19.

Wanting to help keep Tunisians safe and reduce the shortage of medical equipment across the country, Oumaima from Sidi Bouzid, volunteered at the Institut Supérieur des Etudes Technologiques (ISET), a local Tunisian college, and began manufacturing 3D printing masks.

Oumaima and her team organized a fundraising event to address the shortage in raw materials and equipment needed to manufacture the masks. As a result of their work, over 1,800 plastic masks were printed at ISET,  and donated to four hospitals across Sidi Bouzid. In addition, they developed an online training session teaching people how to make masks at home, resulting in nearly 4,000 handmade masks being made.

Oumaima shared how the Ma3an project influenced her COVID-19 response initiative: “The work to make masks has been intense. Each time my team has faced conflict, though, I’ve been able to apply skills learned from Ma3an. I also remember advice from the Ma3an team that has helped me manage team dynamics and communicate better. Ma3an was an enriching learning experience that’s paying off for me today.”

“I hope that we can all ‘shield-up’ against COVID-19. Tunisian youth are capable of a lot! – Oumaima Dhahri.