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FabLab training space teaches modern technologies to young refugees

In the context of the migration crisis in Europe, many refugees are nowadays blocked in camps or towns in Greece for an indeterminate length of time and with few future perspectives. Young people are often full of energy and enthusiasm, but they lack the opportunity to make use of it. Terre des hommes has therefore decided to set up a FabLab, an innovative training space, in the newly established community centre in Ioannina.

The new community centre ‘Mikri Poli’, financially supported by the European Commission and managed jointly by Terre des hommes and Oxfam, has opened its doors for refugees and locals in the city of Ioannina on 26th of April. It offers a range of educational, cultural and recreational activities for children and adults from all backgrounds, as well as access to social services. But this is not everything: we also equipped the centre with the exciting training centre FabLab.

FabLab, coming from Fabrication Laboratory, is a space where people can access a variety of production tools. This pilot project proposes a fun workshop, which allows young people to be creative and to implement their own projects and designs, learn how to code and to use 3D printers and other machines.

The space is a very innovative way of reaching out to young people interested in technology. FabLab provides them with knowledge on machines and software, but also strengthens their creativity skills. It works as a meeting point between local youth and young refugees, promoting integration and exchange of ideas, skills and experiences.

Our aim is to enhance the education of refugee children and adopt our services to reach this goal in an innovative way. David Ott, from the Global Humanitarian Lab (GHL),our implementing partner, says: “The collaboration with Tdh is actually exemplary, as there is a real appetite from Tdh to find and try out new approaches to implement activities.” Thanks to this technological opportunity, refugee children and youth are increasing their chances to integrate into society and build a career.

An estimated 200 youth will benefit in the next half year period from this first of its kind FabLab in Terre des hommes’ projects.

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