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New start as a livestock breeder in Tunisia

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New start as a livestock breeder in Tunisia

I emigrated from Tunisia to Europe in search of a better life. But I wasn’t happy there, so I returned to Tunisia. Support from the CTA enabled me to fulfil my dream and start a business breeding livestock.

My name is Montassar and I'm 39 years old. I come from the rural community of El Amra near Sfax in Tunisia. I’m married and have three children. I was unemployed and couldn't support my family, so I decided to emigrate to Europe in 2021. That was right in the middle of the Covid pandemic.

Pleased with his first calf: Montassar.

Non-legal migration meant a difficult life abroad

I spent a total of nine months in Europe, but couldn’t find a job or any worthwhile prospects there. At first I lived in Italy and then moved on to France. The conditions there were very bad. I experienced many difficult situations and decided to go to Germany. I missed my family a lot, so I didn’t feel good there, either. I decided to return to Tunisia and while I was still in Germany an advisor told me about the services provided by the German-Tunisian Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (CTA) in Tunisia. The team of advisors in Germany also asked me about my skills and vocational interests so that they could give me more support. I come from a farming family, so I wanted to start my own project in this area and become self-employed – I wanted to start a business breeding livestock.

The CTA assisted Montassar by providing a milking machine for his business.

A new chapter in my home country

I wasn’t in good physical health when I returned to Tunisia – I was exhausted. I registered with the CTA and contacted Médecins du Monde. They took care of me and also supported me with lots of tips. We still keep in touch.

The CTA helped me prepare the required project documents. After our conversation in the local The Office for Tunisians Abroad my project was approved. This means that I’ll continue to be supported. I began the livestock breeding training straight away and started with other preparations. I built a barn for the cows, for example. The CTA gave me two cows and a milking pump.

Family business and self-employment

My family was really happy when I started the business. Everything felt just right – I had a dream job and was with my family My business began to grow when when one of the cows had a calf. I was able to get so much milk that it could be collected from the farmyard twice a day to be sold. I feel as if I’m now really getting ahead. The calf is slowly starting to grow and next year I’ll already have three large cows. Things can always get better with a bit of patience. I’m hoping that I’ll soon have four or five cows. Then I can improve my financial situation and increase my income in the medium term.

My family was very happy when I returned to Tunisia. Their joy grew when we started the business together. It’s a family business where we all work together. My wife and my children help me and sometimes even my parents too.

As of: 07/2023

This text is written in simple language to make sure it’s easy for everyone to understand.


Support for Montassar’s return

Those involved in Montassar’s successful return include:

  • The German-Tunisian Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (CTA) in Tunisia, which provided equipment to Montassar and assisted him with the reintegration process.
  • As part of the "Tounesna” Programme and the cooperation between the German-Tunisian Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (CTA) and the Tunisian state, Montassar was assisted with his return and reintegration by these Tunisian authorities:
    - Office for Tunisians Abroad (Office des Tunisiens à l’" OTE)
    - The General Committee for Social Promotion
    - Regional Agricultural Development Committees
  • Médecins du Monde (a partner organisation with the GIZ) provided medical and psychological counselling for Montassar and his family
Things can always get better with a bit of patience.

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