Our History

Beginnings: 1981-1985


Orebro, Sweden: a decision made to start ACT after a feasibility study in Tunisia in 1981 encouraged by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).


First project with the Ministry of Education starts, in partnership with the National Union for Tunisia Women (UNFT). Creativity and boldness was needed as the first steps involved the creation of a workshop training girls in how to make wooden toys. It worked! It became a reference point for carpentry training throughout the country.

Consolidation: 1986-1990


Start of health work in Sidi Bouzid in agreement with the Ministry of Health; training programme for community health workers, and further work in primary health care in Kasserine and Gabès


Registration with the Ministry of Interior in Tunisia

Growth: 1991-1996


In Sidi Bouzid, a community health Workers (CHW) project began in 14 of the poorest villages. The following year, again in Sidi Bouzid, an integrated preschool was begun for children with special needs in collaboration with APAHT.


Collaboration of work with UTAIM (unsure what this is) in Sfax extends to the South and North West; extends to a review of National Policy for training special educators, production of training manual, and regular training programme in Tunis for special educators New project started in Sfax with UTAIM, creating sheltered workshops for severely disabled young people. Begun with a carpentry workshop and one ACT family, in Sfax, ACT began work with UTAIM to establish the first sheltered carpentry workshop for adults with intellectual difficulties

Greater Effectiveness: 1997-2001


Rural development work starts in Sidi Bouzid region new team was established in the southern region of Gabès in the autumn of 1998 with both disability and health projects

Testing: 2002-2006


Partnership work with local group supporting small development initiatives


End of training programme for community health work in Kasserine and Gabès


Partnership through Enfance Espoir (Gabès) and Voix de l’Enfant (Kairouan) is started, working with vulnerable groups by providing training to staff working with babies born to unmarried mothers ACT created an ‘At Risk’ sector to support work with some of the most vulnerable Tunisian groups


Focus on improving small water sources in the Ain Jaffel area, tree planting, and reinforcing soil erosion measures



Silver Jubilee: 2007-2012


ACT ACT celebrated its 25th anniversary in


Start of projects integrating special needs adults into the workplace in Sidi Bouzid and Gabès


Yasmine revolution in Tunisia; ACT involved at refugee work at Libyan border.


Promotion of a school integration programme in Gabès

Widening Horizons 2012 – 2017


ACT expanded the training of trainers that had begun in the disability sector in 2009


A pilot scheme for vocational training or income generating projects for single mothers in the south expanded to a nationwide project and the ‘livelihood project’ approach is also being used with families, women leaving prison and young people with disability. In March 2015 the ACT Member Bodies decided to dissolve ownership and release ACT to become an International NGO. The former Member Bodies became International Partners; ACT revived its registration in Sweden and opened the office of ACT International; and ACT Tunisia became a country office. With the new structure came a new name and a new logo as well as the possibility to have support offices outside of North Africa and country offices across North Africa.


The Association for Cooperation and Transformation gathered together all the former General Directors, many former staff, board members, International Partners, current staff and local partners to celebrate its transition from JMO to INGO and 35 years of God’s faithfulness and blessing while operating in Tunisia.