Cheima joined the Women’s Initiative Fellowship as a recent law school graduate completing her master’s thesis. She believes that the education of children and youth will have lasting dividends in Tunisia. After completing the U.S. portion of the Fellowship in March, 2015, Cheima returned to Tunisia and began volunteering as an English and French teacher for the Integrated Center for Children. By supporting youth education, she hopes to improve the lives of underprivileged children in her community.
Cheima also organized programs for children in her hometown of Monastir that give impoverished students the opportunity to spend their winter breaks attending citizenship courses. She hopes these programs will foster a love of learning and a sense of civic responsibility. In addition to empowering the youth, Cheima also focuses on the women in her community. She organized two training sessions for women, centered on citizenship and legal education, to provide Tunisian women with the knowledge necessary to defend their rights. These training sessions profoundly impacted those in attendance, motivating some to divorce an abusive husband or begin their own professional careers.
In her professional life, Cheima credits the skills she learned as a Women’s Initiative Fellow for the growth and advancement of her career. Upon her return to Tunisia in April 2015, Cheima accepted a position as the communications manager for a non-governmental organization. Recently Cheima moved into a new role as a parliamentary assistant due to her success and achievements as communication manager.
Cheima plans to return to school to complete her Ph.D. and ultimately hopes to become a successful judge in Tunisia.