Presentation of the project

It is in the philosophy of a need to support civil society and the youth of the States of the southern shore of the Mediterranean, initiated by the Forum of Mediterranean Worlds (FMM) in February 2022, that the Samim project, for a sustainable future, was born. It was born from the continuity of a first pilot phase, Salam, Imagining and building the Mediterranean of tomorrow, supported by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE), carried out in 2021 and 2022 and which made it possible to establish the foundations of the Samim project. 

Samim, which means “at the heart” in Arabic, aims to strengthen the structuring of civil society in responding to the sustainable development challenges of cities by launching a network of support structures in the region and improving the capacities of young people to carry out sustainable and innovative territorial projects.

Samim aims to support Civil Society Organizations to better respond to challenges such as inclusion, employment and entrepreneurship and to support actors of change. This is a first phase of three years that began in June 2022 and which operates in four countries: Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan.  

Samim, with a total budget of 3,330,063 euros, is 90% financed by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and implemented by Lab’ess – (Laboratoire de l’économie sociale et solidaire), the first Tunisian incubator for projects with social and environmental impact – in partnership with PULSE (France) and four support structures: Ecodev in Mauritania, Bidaya in Morocco, TCSE in Tunisia and JYIF in Jordan 

Lab’ess is honoured to be the first CSO under local law to receive direct funding under AFD’s CSO-Initiatives scheme.

Supporting civil society :

Samim responds to the challenge of supporting initiatives led by CSOs to make major cities of the southern shore of the Mediterranean more sustainable and adapted to the needs of communities. These initiatives will be supported through a redistributive fund of €1,667,756 to finance sustainable and innovative projects.

This fund will benefit nearly 50 selected organizations through two calls for projects scheduled for January 2023 and January 2024. This support will be multiple thanks to the grants awarded, on the one hand it will aim at the structural reinforcement of the organizations carrying the projects, and on the other hand it will ensure a follow-up in the deployment of these projects.

This local and adapted support will be possible thanks to the development and strengthening of a network of local support structures based in the four intervention cities (Ecodev, Bidaya, TCSE and JYIF) to mobilize actors of change.

4 cities
3 years
2022 - 2025
50 CSOs
50 % projects
of projects led by women
of funds for CSOs

The big markers:

Sustainable cities

Samim takes a holistic view of the city by considering the plurality of issues for more sustainable cities and communities.

Sustainable cities

Samim's sub-themes include waste management, circular economy, sustainable mobility, responsible production and consumption, eco-urbanism, urban agriculture, sustainable tourism and energy transition, as well as social and citizen innovations.


Samim aims to support young people who are mobilized within civil society and is built as an inclusive mechanism to respond to the needs of these young people.


The selection process for the calls for projects will therefore pay close attention to inclusive projects led by and in response to the needs of young people in the concerned cities.


Samim particularly targets gender equality by funding at least 50% of projects led by women.


Moreover, special attention will be given to the inclusion of women in the design and implementation of the funded projects in order to maximize the impact of the project towards more gender equality in the cities.

Regional network

Samim operates in Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan and aims to develop and strengthen a network of support structures and civil society organizations in these countries.

Regional network

Samim's network is run through a system of capacity building and sharing between actors working on the common theme of sustainable cities.

Discover the partners :

The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) helps implement France’s development and international solidarity policy. Through its public sector and NGO financing activities, research and publications (AFD Editions), training on sustainable development (AFD Campus) and awareness-raising activities in France, it finances, supports and accelerates transitions towards a more just and resilient world. 

It builds shared solutions with its partners, with and for the populations of the South. AFD’s teams are involved in more than 4.000 projects in the field, in Overseas France, in 115 countries and in territories in crisis, for common goods – climate, biodiversity, peace, gender equality, education and health. 

AFD is thus contributing to France’s and French people’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for a common world.

Founded in 2012 in the wake of the revolution, the Laboratoire de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire (Lab’ess) is a Tunisian association, a player in the SSE sector, and one of the incubators of the PULSE network.

Its mission is to raise awareness, support and finance those who undertake projects in the general interest, a mission to which a dimension of advocacy was added in 2020 with the co-creation of the #tounessolidaire collective.

To respond, the Lab’ess is carrying out various innovative projects and programs to support and raise awareness among people committed to making a positive impact: associations, project leaders, social entrepreneurs, students, support structures and universities. 

Lab’ess thus supports the associative movement and social entrepreneurship in line with its vision to be at the service of actors of change to develop a more united, inclusive and sustainable economy. 

Present in Tunis, in its collaborative workspace, in the governorates and also in the countries of the MENA region, Lab’ess has been able to evolve and adapt to its context in order to act ever more effectively with the actors of change and to multiply its impact.

PULSE is an association created in 2006 whose mission is to support and promote entrepreneurship as a lever for inclusive and sustainable development. Founded with the conviction that everyone can become an actor of change, PULSE promotes, in the 18 countries where it is active, accessibility to entrepreneurship and its financing through awareness-raising actions and support programs.

PULSE operates several incubation sites in Africa and Europe, in particular with Lab’ess (Tunisia), Oribi (South Africa), Jógjëf (Senegal) and PULSE Montreuil (France). Each year, more than a very large number of project leaders are thus supported in the launch and development of their activity.

ECO-Développement (Ecodev) is a Mauritanian non-governmental organization created in 1999. One of the reasons for its creation was the political will declared by the public authorities at the time to initiate a participatory process to develop a reference framework for the fight against poverty known as CSLP (Strategic Framework for the Fight against Poverty). 

Its main mission is to strengthen and support their beneficiaries towards socio-economic empowerment. This is done through the participatory identification of projects or actions, the mobilization of funding and the implementation of economic initiatives led by local actors and the linking of actors for an inclusive and sustainable territorial development.

After a little more than 20 years of existence, Ecodev is positioned as a major player in local economic development, participatory diagnosis and planning processes, the establishment of consultation frameworks and youth networks, the establishment of start-up and seed funds for businesses and the provision of technical and vocational training for the socio-professional integration of young people in both urban and rural areas.

Founded in 2015, Bidaya is a Moroccan association whose objective is to promote and support actors of social and environmental change in Morocco and to work towards a more inclusive society.

More specifically, Bidaya’s objective is to support project leaders with positive and innovative impacts and to promote the social, environmental and solidarity economy in Morocco and Africa. 

Specialized in the support of startups and social, environmental and technological innovation, Bidaya supports entrepreneurs in the elaboration and development of their high-impact projects.

In 2012, the TCSE was created with the vision of making social entrepreneurship a pillar of the Tunisian economy, offering sustainable and innovative solutions to the economic and social issues facing Tunisian society.

To achieve this vision, the TCSE’s mission is to create a conducive ecosystem to social entrepreneurship and innovation by offering innovative and sustainable solutions to economic and social problems and by having an inclusive, holistic and systemic approach that aims to reach all actors and all levels of intervention. The TCSE members are inspired by the central values of the development of social entrepreneurship, such as respect, sharing, trust, equity, co-creation, commitment and accountability.

Established in 2007 with the mission to empower young people to become equal partners in the economic and social development process through youth-friendly and youth-led programs. 

JYIF works to increase the employability of young people and facilitate entrepreneurial opportunities, to enable the participation of young people in public life and decision making by encouraging active citizenship.

For more information about samim