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Inspiring belief in a better tomorrow. Equipping kids with the tools to build it.

Making and Playing comes in Tunisia via Paris

Who are we ?

Hi! We are the PaCTE, an NGO founded on a shared, spontaneous and innovative movement of solidarity among 7400 Tunisians in and outside the country. 

One of our first actions was Speak Out Tunisia. It started off through a serependitious encounter : an American Citizen journalism teacher, Anne Medley, and a team of passioned Tunisians, PaCTE.

Pacte team 

Pacte team 

And the result was one the most ambitious citizen journalism project at that time. Through a successful kickstarter campaign, 100 citizen reporters, everywhere in Tunisia, were trained on the techniques and ethics of photojournalism and videos. These citizen journalists were then deployed to report daily news and local concerns that were broadcast on the independent WebTV :http://pactetv.com

After the success of Speak Out Tunisia, we started looking for our next challenge. This time we raised the bar : We wanted something insanely impactful for all the Tunisians generations to come.

Why us and why HacKIDemia?

And again, we got lucky. I met Stefania through a mutual friend, and she told me about HacKIDemia. Children learning to create robots and extract DNA ? This is exactly what we need!

Ten members of PaCTE committed to come to the first facilitator workshop by HacKIDemia. I was afraid at first that it will just be a theoretical presentation, with no much practice involved. I'm already convinced of the potential, but I was counting on the workshop to create devotees out of the other PaCTE members.

But all my doubts were quickly brushed away by Stefania. After a fast-paced inspiring HacKIDemia presentation, we started the practice part.

And this is when I fall in a flow state, loosing the sense of time. Amongst robots, circuits, arduino, musical fruits, I was having the fun of my life, until I regained conscience and looked around to see how the others were doing.
— Sami Ben Hassine, Pacte
Image from mentor's training in Paris  

Image from mentor's training in Paris

 

What I saw gave me a warm feeling. I didn’t saw the self-righteous consultants and Engineers, the productivity-seekers executive and managers : I saw happy & playful faces, getting again in touch with their inner child.
— Sami Ben Hassine

Amine was sitting by the ground, trying to create a musical instrument from a fruit and a circuit with Charlie, a 10-year old boy. Rym was looking at a Cat sprite in Scratch, a visual programming language, trying to recreate the story of the video game she always dreamt of playing. Asma was rediscovering the pleasure of making a LED flash at intervals by a simple Arduino circuit she programmed herself. All of them were conquered.

Asma coaching children at Kids Hackathon in Paris

Asma coaching children at Kids Hackathon in Paris

Why is it important to collaborate globally? 

Before leaving, we asked Stefania for advises on how to best implement Hackidemia in Tunisia. Stefania told us that the most important thing is to make the workshop meaningful to your own region and culture. 

She told us that in India, they had a workshop for mute children. The idea they had is to teach the children how they can create glowing gloves using an Arduino, so that they could communicate even during night, when electricity is cut and lights goes off.

This story left a big impression on all of us. Already, two members of PaCTE started expressing their interest in leading this project in Tunisia.

Mission almost accomplished.

So what are the next steps ? Spreading the Hackidemia playfulness all over Tunisia! 

We'll keep you updated :)

Sami Ben Hassine