15 new FabLabs for the new school year: a new start for thousands of young people

In France and in Africa, unemployed young people will be able to access digital manufacturing training for free. We have decided to support the initiatives of 15 new Solidarity FabLabs within the framework of the implementation of our international programme! They are all different, but they will all set young people on an active and positive path, a first step towards social integration and employment.


young people in solidarity fablab

In Africa, where unemployment is a scourge for young people

Unlike Europe, Africa has a large majority of young people (70% in Cameroon and Senegal for example) and, therefore, very high rates of unemployment among young people. In Douala, in Cameroon, there are 2 million unemployed young people who do not have any qualifications. We are launching new Solidarity FabLabs in Africa as we are convinced that jobs related to digital technologies and the ability to apply digital skills in certain traditional jobs represent an opportunity for young people in these countries in which Orange is active.


young people in DRC


In Cameroon, the FabLabs will teach how to include digital technologies in machinery by producing prototypes and limited series for companies in Douala. A good way to learn a trade and integrate! In Mali, Senegal and Tunisia, the digital training provided by the Solidarity FabLab will be delivered in partnership with public partners such as universities, ministries for vocational training, and also NGOs and start-ups, if appropriate.

This represents an investment of almost €250,000 from the Orange Foundation to build 4 new Solidarity FabLabs from scratch with all the requisite digital equipment and support from training instructors.

In France, the FabLabs are adapted to local context

In France, the support of the Foundation focussed first and foremost on one of the regions worst-affected by youth unemployment: Kourou in French Guiana, where almost 50% of young people are unemployed. Our Solidarity FabLab will be set up in a digital activities centre there.


construction bicycle solidarity fablab


In the Rhône-Alpes region, an itinerant Solidarity FabLab will offer several hundred young people the opportunity to take part in workshops lasting several days. This original initiative will be implemented with the support of 12 Mission Locales (a type of French community organization to support unemployed or socially excluded young people) in the region and organizations connected to local companies: co-operatives, training centres, regional groups of industrial companies. It will reach young people in rural areas.
In Le Velay, in the central eastern region of France, we will be aiming to support young people with learning difficulties.
In Ile de France, in Montreuil, at the foot of the tower in the cité de l’espoir (city of hope), a 300m2 Solidarity FabLab will train young people to become entrepreneurs and makers. This learning space will centre around information, production and reflection. Here again, our initiative brings together partners such as local government and charities.
Just 4 examples from the 11 new Solidarity FabLabs in France, joining our worldwide network of 73 Solidarity FabLabs.

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