In the front row of a small classroom, three women, all different nationalities, avidly learn French in southern Tunisia’s stifling summer heat — grateful for support from an umbrella of charities.
Based in the city of Medenine, it’s a rare locally driven opportunity for migrants to better themselves and integrate, in a wider North Africa region that is often far from welcoming.
And despite Tunisia’s own biting economic crisis and the rampant poverty in its under-developed south, local associations have banded together to offer the less fortunate support.
Awa, from Ivory Coast, speaks good French, but wants to learn to read and write in the language.
“I never went to school,” she said, her baby on her knee. “If you cannot read or write, it is as if you live in the dark — you cannot do anything.”