TUNISIA

Tunisian 'whiz' twins use trash to build replica farm models

They're only 13 years old, but these tech-savvy Tunisians have already been earmarked as future engineers. The two whiz kids are putting old waste to good use by building miniature replicas of farm vehicles from pieces of trash. Internet users have marvelled at the children's work, after photos uploaded by their teacher began circulating on social media websites.

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Photo taken by Oussema Kouki and published on Facebook.

They're only 13 years old, but these tech-savvy Tunisians have already been earmarked as future engineers. The two whiz kids are putting old waste to good use by building miniature replicas of farm vehicles from pieces of trash. Internet users have marvelled at the children's work, after photos uploaded by their teacher began circulating on social media websites.

For the last two years, twins Aymen and Amine have been crafting these miniature models by using tiny pieces of plastic found in rubbish bins. They draw their inspiration from the real-life farm machinery used in Zaghouan, a region in the north-eastern corner of Tunisia where the two boys live.

Although this small-scale initiative probably won't revolutionise waste recycling, it could help kick-start a debate on trash management in a country where rubbish often lies strewn across the streets.

Photos by Oussama Kouki.

"They're little geniuses! We have to encourage them!"

Oussema Kouki, their technology teacher, decided to post photos of the replica models on Facebook. He also posted a video in which one of the young handymen explains how he crafts one of the objects.

Video filmed by Oussama Kouki. One of the twin boys explains how he builds the models.

"I find it incredible that these children, at their age, have learnt how to put waste to good use. In a country like ours, poor trash management is a problem that is still far from being solved. At our middle school, we give pupils lessons in recycling and we also have a technology club. I asked them both to build something: I expected something fairly ordinary and easy to put together. But their technical knowhow left me gobsmacked.

Even their explanations left me astounded. They used technical concepts that are normally only taught to pupils studying for the baccalauréat [Editor's note: the 'bac' is an exam taken by students finishing high school, typically around the age of 18]. And what's more, they built the models entirely by themselves by observing farm vehicles that operate near their home. I decided to put these videos and photos online to encourage them to continue pursuing their hobby. I also hope that others will want to help the children to continue their studies, because they come from a poor family. These little geniuses are the engineers of tomorrow.