A word from Cristian from the Barcelona Solidarity FabLab

Cristian from the Tinkerers Solidarity FabLab in Barcelona took part in the international Solidarity FabLabs challenge 2017. He talks about his experience in a FabLab which taught him teamwork and how to open up to others.

"What I got out of the FabLab was teamwork and interaction with others"

"I finished my studies with a professional training programme in sales and work experience in a clothing store. I was then unemployed for a while until I found Breakers.
I immediately thought it would be interesting, so I signed up. I have worked in the Breakers programme for two years now; this is my third FabLab training course.
I think a solidarity FabLab is a good idea, especially as, in Spain, unemployment rates are highest among young people and I think any opportunity for young people is a very positive thing.
I would say that what I got out of the FabLab was teamwork and interaction with others, which I had always had difficulty with until now.
I worked between each training course, but now I’m unemployed again and looking for a job. I have also applied to F5 (Factory 5), a 7-month programming course. If I don’t get accepted onto this programming course, I think I’ll do one of the courses at Casa dels Oficis, comprising an apprenticeship in electronics, focussing on electronic equipment repairs.
For the challenge, the FabLab team took us to speak with an expert in charge of the whole canoe department. We asked her about the materials you need, the difficulties and problems to deal with, and other such questions. In the end, we decided to adapt a kayak for use by people with disabilities.
The FabLab got us a real kayak. This was very useful as, without it, we wouldn’t have known how to go about achieving our goal. They provided the materials, the motor for the kayak and the electrical components, and they guided us so that every phase of the project was completed efficiently.
What I took away from my experience during the Solidarity FabLabs challenge was, in particular, a pride in having achieved a useful project which could really help people. It wasn’t easy, as our group was made up of people with jobs, students and people with other commitments, so it was difficult to coordinate our efforts to move forward, but we have nearly finished. We need to move from the prototype to the final design.
During the challenge, I was able to see how the other FabLab teams work. I got a chance to see other teams’ projects, how they developed them and the ideas they had. This inspired us for our own projects. ”

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