Sarah Toumi

2016 Young Laureate, Environment
France, Tunisia, Born 1987

Project Goal

Combat desertification and reduce poverty among farmers in Tunisia 

Location: Tunisia

Sarah Toumi was born in France on 16 October 1987 to a Tunisian father and a French mother.

In 1998, she co-founded an NGO with her father focusing on children’s rights in France, which she later helped replicate in Tunisia. While studying at Paris-Sorbonne University, Toumi founded DREAM, introducing students to social entrepreneurship. The organization is still operated by the university.

During visits to Tunisia, Toumi noticed that many women had little economic independence or freedom, allowing, she says “little space for dreams and hopes”. The result was Dream in Tunisia, a space where women can develop their potential. Today the NGO incorporates a youth centre, a women’s centre and an entrepreneurship centre.

An Ashoka and Echoing Green Fellow, Toumi says she is driven to fight gender inequality, environmental degradation and poverty. “I am led by the vision of a fairer Tunisia where the democratic transition happens softly because solidarity and entrepreneurship allow for the inclusive approach of unemployment, poverty and environmental issues. Social entrepreneurship can support the sustainable development of marginalized rural areas, with all profits reinvested to plant more trees, as well as in educational, health and citizenship programmes. In this way I believe we can improve people’s lives for the long term.”

Other 2016 Young Laureates