It was two years ago, when I moved to Tunis for my studies. I noticed that there are a lot of homeless people in the streets – what shocked me, because I didn´t know it from my hometown – and I felt bad for them. So I decided to start to help them.
It´s not only about compassion. It´s also about charity. If I were homeless, I would need someone to help me. Moreover it’s a personal issue as well. My uncle became a homeless. When I was a child he often played football with me, we laughed a lot. Later I liked to listen to his wonderful stories about people, successful stories, unlucky stories, sometime boring. He really invested time in me. I was twelve when he lost his work, some weeks later his home. He refused to live with us. He was ashamed and so he spent a long time as an homeless until he died. It was a shock for me
I try to establish contact between the homeless people and organisations like "Diar Dounes" and "Atss tTunisie " by calling those adapting organisations and tell them, where they can find those homeless.
Usually, I have time on Friday , Saturday and Sunday. So I search them on these days. I always find new ones, esspecially women.
Yes, there are a lot of homeless women.Tthere is a research which says that a third of homeless people are women, at least in Tunisia.
Yes, definitely. I remember very well that woman with her dirty sleeping bag. I found her sleeping next to the Tunis train station, in broad daylight! I woke her up and she told me that her two kids left her after they married. Later they sold their father's house where she was living in. So she found her self homeless, from one day to the other she was facing drunken guys and bad people every night! If you see her face, you see that she's really in trouble. It's realy dangerous for women.
The reasons are a high quote of unemployment and the economic situation of Tunisia which is getting worse and worse by the financial misconduct oft he government.
Well, they do, but there are so many homeless people and every day new ones show up, so they can´t find everyone. And I support the organisations to find those people by walking around in public places like next to the mosque, to metro, bus, train stations or in parks and looking for them.
Yes, the government spends its money for the wrong thinks. Instead of invest money in establishing jobs and affordable living spaces, they invest in more unimportant things.
If I was in their place, I would take other countries as a role model, for example Germany, and I would redistribute the money to the right priorities, to mitigate poverty.
Interviewed by Leonie Handrick, a 21 year old German student of socialwork.
The personal motivation of Oussama (uncle) gives the topic depth. The meeting with the homeless woman is very specific, very emotionally and touches the reader. We get a picture, we can imagine how Oussama talks with the woman.With three words he describes the place: "Tunis Train Station"
Oussama says how often he's looking for homeless people.
Also for German the issue of homelessness is interesting because of the parallels (which are unfortunately not mentioned). In Germany an increasing number of women is affected. Comment by Claus Sixt
Oussama Abdeljawad, 21 years old, from Sfax, is studying Telecommunication and Networking in Tunis.