Observers

 
Our Observer, Kamel Kaci, is a retired French teacher in the northern Algerian Kabylie region, where he lives in Bouzeguène, a town 170 kilometres (around 106 miles) east of the capital Algiers. Kaci lives primarily off of his pension, which totals 400 euros per month. To make ends meet, he occasionally writes articles about Bouzeguène for national newspapers. Even though Kaci has his own financial concerns, he says he worries the most about his children, who are unemployed.
 
If you are interested in sharing your story for “Our Observers Balance Their Books” project , please contact us at observers@france24.com.
 
 
 

'I was your average civil servant, and now I am your average retiree'

I retired last year after having worked for 34 years, and I am very proud of my career. I rarely indulge myself, but I can at least feed my family. My children haven’t had the same luck.
 
'My sons are cooks, plumbers, IT specialists, machine operators. It’s day-by-day'
 
I have a daughter who is working in Canada, but my three sons, despite having degrees, are unemployed and live at home. So they all do odd jobs here and there. They are cooks, plumbers, IT specialists, or machine operators. It’s day-by-day. Kabylie’s youth is lost and only focusses on one thing: moving abroad.
 
'Thanks to my articles, some months I can earn an extra 40 euros'
 
Luckily, in addition to my pension, I write articles for Algerian newspapers. I’m paid 30 euros for a long article and 10 euros for shorter ones, which means some months I can earn an extra 40 or 50 euros.
 
'In total, we have six adults living at home, so I spend an extra 250 euros per month on groceries'
 
Counting my wife and my 86-year-old mother, who lives with us because she has nowhere else to go, we have six adults living at home. So I make a budget each month, and everything is calculated. I spend the most on food: 250 euros per month. In March, I went to France for 15 days. I paid 200 euros for my ticket, and a friend let me stay at their house. In the end, it took me a year to save for the vacation, and once I was there I spent very little.