My name is Mehdi Chouikha. I’m a 19 years old Tunisian student. 1 year ago during my exchange year in the U.S.A with the YES program, I started filming some cultural videos on my host parent’s phone. This quickly turned into a hobby. I got my first camera ever and I started posting cultural/vlog videos on youTube on my channel FeelsLikeMehdi.

Around that time, Associa-Med reached out to me and I started editing videos for them about COVID-19. We made videos about the dangers of the virus and proper ways to take precautions.

When I came back to Tunisia, I kept getting involved and volunteering my time not only for the cause of the pandemic but also for the causes of racism (co-founder of Tounes Alwen) and the cause of Sexual harassment (co-founder of The Suspect)

When I discovered the Go-Vax (Go vaccinate) contest on social media, I was very enthusiastic and motivated since it corresponds to my values and my interest in making videos. This is a competition for young people in civil society to choose the best awareness video on @ COVID-19 vaccination. It is a project organized jointly by the @BEDER and @ Inno-PEACE Associations, in partnership with the @ BIAT Foundation, the municipality of Ariana and the @Azima program.

My goal was to create a short video that makes the viewer want to be vaccinated against covid-19, and my other goal was to benefit from the process and integrate the community of the BIAT Foundation which has for values: excellence, collaboration and citizenship which perfectly matches my ambitions and vision for my life projects.

I’ll never forget the moment when the jury said they decided with no doubt that the winning video is… and there on the big screen of Novotel Hotel played the first frames of my video. I was shook to the core. In the first few seconds I felt happy but also very emotional as I realized the immensity of what this meant. Before that, I was feeling self-conscious in that room, being one of the youngest participants, being still in high school, having no real equipment. Yet despite that, it was my video that made it to first place. For several minutes I couldn’t even talk, I was just crying. Winning also meant that I’ll be getting money for a new gear and that my video will have a massive impact on a larger audience. Several days after, national TV Al-Wataneya played my video on air to hundreds of thousands of viewers and I got to talk about my video on live TV. I made my whole family and my friends so proud.

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