TAMSS is a non-profit, non government development organization registered at the Ministry of Interior by Decree No. 18588. The launching of TAMSS in 2006 was not an easy task as neither the political nor the social environments were open to civic participation. Almost 99% of the NGOs in the pre-revolution era (January 2011) have been under the control of the one political party that governed the country since 1987. However, the will of its founder and president as well as the engagement of the people who were working at TAMSS made it possible for the NGO to survive despite the absence of foreign funding. In fact, for over half a century Tunisia has never been the focus of the international development community and /or foreign assistance because the country’s “doors” have been closed to the emergence and participation of the civil society which was condemned to crawl under the one party, one man regime’s “feet”.
Despite such a context TAMSS emerged as one of the rare NGOs that started as a community development NGO , working in silence, keeping a low profile, serving the citizens of the country while avoiding any interference with government. This allowed TAMSS to survive and succeeded to attract local assistance and funding from foreign embassies in the country, which trusted our work as well as independence from politics. The pre-revolution five years allowed TAMSS to learn how to serve communities, manage projects and programs, maintain relationships with funders and gain their trust and also build credibility among the people and the networks.
Thus, from 2006 to 2011 TAMSS has been providing community services that focused on :
- School drop outs
- Adult literacy
- Childhood support
- Vocational training for men and women
- Entrepreneurship: Micro entreprise, micro credit and trainings and support in management
After the revolution TAMSS made strategic choices and went through an organizational restructuring and institutional capacity building.