AHMINI change of partnership from public to private sector

On the occasion of the Women’s Day March 08, 2021, the founder of the Start-Up #Ahmini Mr. Maher Khlifi announced the change in the work strategy of the organization; This change aims to open up to the private sector in order to save the best social project in the MENA Middle East and North Africa region, because of the obstacles and administrative obstructions.

Mr. Maher stressed the importance of promoting projects for the benefit of women in rural areas in different sectors, such as the transport of women workers in agriculture; the sector of social coverage and insurance against work accidents.

Mr. Maher expressed his intentions to go forward to improve the circumstances and the environment in which rural women work.

In a the media interview, the founder of #Ahmini declared the inauguration of the first World Organization EMPAWRA for the protection and integration into the social, economic and cultural life of rural women, aiming at their protection by all legal means and international rights promulgated in its favor, and agreed bilaterally between Tunisia and international organizations.

And at the same time, Mr. Maher Khlifi, condemned the systematic practices against his project since its launch, because since then the number of rural women was to reach 86,000 members while today we find that the number of female registered did not exceed 13,000, and the women who had a unique identifier did not exceed 2,000 women.

Ashoka Fellow Meher Khelifi journey to break down social insurance barriers: “I want to help every single woman that has no social or health coverage”

Ashoka has declared that Meher Khelifi, newly elected Ashoka Arab World Fellow and founder of Ahmini, shared with us his first reactions to becoming an Ashoka Fellow, the challenges he faced along the way, and his experience pursuing social security coverage for women in rural Tunisia.
ARTICLE LINK HERE

Meher Khelifi experienced first-hand the devastating consequences of being uninsured in Tunisia when his mother, Fatema, passed away in 2016. Fatema was  uninsured and therefore untreated for what was later diagnosed as cancer. After this life-changing experience, Meher was convinced that no woman should ever go through the same thing, and he committed himself to making health coverage accessible to Tunisian women in rural areas.  

Meher is transforming Tunisia’s healthcare system through Ahmini (‘Protect me’ in Arabic) by allowing women in rural areas to be enrolled in social security and thus receive medical and retirement benefits for the first time. By partnering with different stakeholders, Meher has made structural changes at the level of laws and regulations, facilitating the accessibility and enrollment of thousands of women. Using technology and mobile phones to link social security numbers and payments to SIM cards, rural women are now able to be insured at a manageable cost.

Through awareness sessions, women were able to learn and understand the importance of being insured. With the help of hundreds of trained volunteers, Ahmini facilitated registration opportunities throughout Tunisia’s rural area and registered 20,000 women in just two months. But Meher’s work is far from over—he is looking to expand his idea to Algeria and Lebanon next.

How did you feel when you first got the news that you were elected to be an Ashoka Fellow? And what part of the Ashoka Fellowship do you find most exciting and beneficial to your growth?

It was a happy day and a wonderful feeling! I kept on screaming from happiness when I found out that I am now an Ashoka Fellow. Then, I realized that I would be able to continue working in my Ahmini and help the underprivileged women in rural areas, not only in my country, but also in all over the world.

What motivated you to begin your work?

Ahmini is part of me, part of my day-to-day life. I don’t want anyone in this world to experience what I did, to see someone really close to you dying and without being able to do anything to him/her. 

What aspect of your work energizes you the most?

What I want to do is to restore the dignity of marginalized women in my country and of all countries in the world. 

What is a challenge you have overcome in your work?

The biggest challenge I faced was that all the laws didn’t allow me to work with rural women. There were no laws that insure them a social or health coverage and the municipalities were not so supportive, but I managed to change the laws and introduced new ones to benefit and insure them. 

Tell us about an experience with your target community or a particular beneficiary that stands out to you as reflective of your impact?

I used to go very early in the morning to each village and the women always waited for me. One time, I came and they started to cheer and greet me with happy faces. I saw my mother in every one of them, I was getting love from them similar to the love I used to receive from my mother. I was a son for them and they were all my mothers. They listen very carefully to me with smiley faces.

In what ways do you see your initiative growing in the coming years?

I’m planning to spread my idea to the whole world, starting in the Arab world, and then spreading out everywhere else. I want to help every single woman that has no social or health coverage. I don’t want any woman to face what my mother had to face in her last days.

One last question—who is your hero?

My hero is my dad.

you won’t find a rural woman without any health insurance before the end of 2024

Today we celebrate the second year of the establishment of Ahmini, it’s founder Maher Al-Khlifi has announced today July 16, 2020 that before the end of 2024, we will not find a women working in the rural sector without health insurance, as Maher emphasized that there are good news and new technological solutions for women in the rural sector to facilitate their daily lives.
Maher also stated that there is a new gain for women in the rural sector that will be announced in this upcoming  October.

More than 1,500 women working in the agricultural sector have been integrated into the National Social Security Fund

Today, Ahmini managed to obtain more than 1500 unique identifiers for the social coverage of women working in the agricultural sector distributed throughout country.

Despite the difficult circumstances and not achieving the desired goal, it is considered a slight success in the journey of the Ahmini.

Moreover the number of women working in the agricultural sector registered in the system has reached more than 15,000 women.

How can human capital and technology save lives from COVID-19? This young entrepreneur is finding answers

When the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit his country, Tunisia, Meher Khelifi knew exactly what needed to be done to save lives. After all, he has already developed a solution to save the lives of thousands of rural women by enrolling them in the social security system and enabling them, for the first time, to gain access to the health care to which they and their families are entitled.

After Meher’s late mom, Fatouma, passed away from a disease she could not afford to treat because she had to choose between her own health and her children’s education, Meher’s only goal was to ensure that no other rural women would ever have to make this sacrifice again. The World Bank’s Empower Her program was the right opportunity for Meher to pursue his goal. After succeeding in a nation-wide youth competition and completing a series of intensive training in entrepreneurship, financial management, leadership, and other skill-building sessions organized by the World Bank, Meher launched his Empower Her technological solution called “Ahmini” (meaning “Protect Me”). Today, and less than a year later, about 23,000 rural women working in the agriculture sector are registered with Ahmini. The target is to reach 500,000 rural women in the next few years.

Meher has innovated once again to address the negative impact of the pandemic on rural women, who are mostly affected by job losses and food price increases as well as shortages of essential products such as flour and semoulina[i], and who are vulnerable to health risks. He is using modern technology and creating “Ahmini Light” with other partners. This application has come to the rescue of rural women, who no longer had any source of livelihood. It creates a connection that links rural women with associations and citizens to receive necessary food supplies from the nearest point of sale with dignity and at no cost.

Photo: Ahmini-Light application
Photo: COVID-19 tracking application

Meher’s tech solutions did not stop there: he has also managed to create ways to protect rural women through awareness audio-recordings or direct calls to teach them about the preventive measures needed to save themselves and their households from contracting COVID-19. Given his tech-savviness, he was requested to create an app that tracks quarantined citizens returning from overseas to raise their awareness about the required measures.

The interior regions of Tunisia are rich in human capital and tech-savvy youth like Meher. Investing in these young people is investing in the society as a whole.

Note: Ahmini’s work on easing access to social security and social assistance fits within a broader World Bank Group agenda supported by the First Resilience and Recovery Development Policy Financing (DPF, US$175 million), submitted for the Board of Executive Directors’ approval on June 12, 2020. Under this DPF, reform actions are expected to promote a sound and rapid development of digital payment services in Tunisia.  Government to person (G2P) digital payments are expected to increase, particularly in social security and social services. 

A meeting with Mrs. Asma Al-Shiri, Minister of Women, Family, Childhood and the Elderly

A new vision and strategy for Ahmini , with the participation of all national institutions and organizations under the supervision and support of Mrs. Asma al-Shiri, Minister of Women, Family, Childhood, and the Elderly. Evaluation is the basis for progress and success .
Thank you, Mrs. Minister, for hosting and your positive interaction, and your concern for the advancement of women in the rural environment.
Today is the beginning of a new hope for a better tomorrow, God willing. Thank you, Hella Ben Youssef Ouardani, and all the personals present today.

A meeting with Mr. Mohamed Bourguiba, the governor of Kairouan

Only a few days separate us from returning to the field.

Thank you for your support of the project.

The second meeting with Mr. Salim El-Aazabi, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation

The second meeting … and the second good news when you find someone to listen to you. My meeting today focused on Mr. Salim El-Aazabi, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, on the progress of the Ahmini project at the national and international level, and all the problems which the project in Tunisia faced were raised after the great Popularity which has The project saw at a world level. The Minister also expressed his support for the project and declared himself ready to intervene to resolve the current situation of its progress and integrate women working in the agricultural sector.

Thank you Mr. Salim El-Aazabi for your positive interaction

A meeting with Mr. Osama Al-Khriji, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries

The experience of management and administration interacts with the aspirations of young people … the result is the benefit of this  country and the people.
Today’s meeting is a new start for tomorrow, the best, with God’s willing, with Mr. Osama Al-Khriji, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries.
Thanks to Mr. Osama Al-Khriji.

UN Human Rights is helping female agricultural workers in rural Tunisia gain access to social security benefits (ا(منظمة الأمم المتحدة لحقوق الإنسان تدعم منظومة احميني

OUR GOAL IS TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF TUNISIA’S RURAL WOMEN PROTECTING THEIR RIGHT TO SOCIAL SECURITY.

CHANGING ATTITUDES, CHANGING LAWS.
 
CHECK THE FULL ARTICLE HERE .