A word from Ana from the Madrid Solidarity FabLab

In 2017, the jury’s prize in our international FabLabs Solidaires challenge, #IMake4MyCity, was awarded to young Breakers from the Spanish solidarity FabLabs. Ana took part in the challenge with the Madrid solidarity FabLab.

"I fell in love with the programme"

"When I first heard about the solidarity FabLab, I had just finished high school with difficulties and I wasn’t sure about my future. As a result, I decided to sign up for various IT-based professional training courses. La Calle socio-cultural association helps vulnerable youngsters find their way. Thanks to the association, I met the tutor at the Madrid Solidarity FabLab, who advised me to take part in the Breakers programme. A few days later, I started the induction workshops for digital manufacturing.

From the very beginning, I fell in love with the programme and, once my training was over, I continued as a volunteer. It’s a real opportunity to be able to take part in an innovative and attractive programme which opens our minds through technology. In addition to technical knowledge, the Breakers provide a community where I feel I belong and can be at ease.

I completed a 40-hour training course in the Breakers programme, then signed up for Open Breakers to be able to continue developing projects with my Breakers team.
Now I’m taking a professional training programme in micro-computing, while at the same time working as a call centre operator in the afternoons. I have been doing this new job for two months now and I’m pleased with it, but I do hope for a better professional future. I would like to carry on my studies in design (graphic design, photography, ...). Thanks to my training and the MakeSpace FabLab, I have realised that I see myself in a job in design rather than IT.
Concerning the 2017 challenge, I remember that the FabLabs Managers suggested we carry out a final project with all the content of the programme, but we didn’t really know that we were going to take part in the IMake4MyCity Challenge before the final classes. In my opinion, not knowing that we were going to take part was an advantage; otherwise the atmosphere would have been more tense and there would have been a lot of pressure on the group. The project would also have been more supervised, and we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experiment and put forward crazy, creative ideas.

We had several meetings and, with support from the tutors and instructors, we were able to bring to fruition the ideas we had in mind. Teamwork was very important in the creation and design process, as we divided up different tasks according to our skills and personal interests.

We successfully completed our prototype and decided to keep it at the FabLab, as a souvenir of this adventure.

I’m still in touch with most of the Breakers from our project and we meet up regularly at the FabLab. I’m also still in touch with a young girl from Turkey whom I met in Marseilles. She also took part in the Challenge. Despite my poor English, we swapped e-mail addresses and still talk together from time to time.
One of the advantages of the challenge is that you get to meet people of your own age from different countries, who are in the same situation as you and have taken part in the same adventure. Sharing our experience was very interesting; it gave me a full overview of the programme. ”

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