Olfa Hammami: "Thanks to the Solidarity Fablab, I am going to be able to continue studying"

Since childhood, Olfa Hammami is passionate about science. Today, this young Tunisian is very involved in the life of the FabLab Solidaire Tunis. She develops skills while participating in the organization of events of FabLab.
FabLabs Solidarity Tunisia Olfa Hammami
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am 19, and ever since I was a child I have been passionate about research, science, and innovation. I have always dreamed of leaving my mark on history, and of making a change in the world! I learned to play chess at age 6, and 2 years later I made it on to the Tunisian national team. By the time I was 10 years old I was already the Tunisian champion, which meant I could participate in several international championships.

How did you find out about the Tunisian Youth Science association?

By learning more about the world, I quickly realised that science was my destiny. It was at age 13 that I made the best decision of my life, becoming a volunteer at the Tunisian Youth Science association. Through volunteering I met other young people who, like me, all had one goal: developing their scientific skills and culture. Working with the organisation, I realised that it wasn’t surprising to talk about Einstein’s theories or to have ambitions as big as mine.

What is your relationship with the Tunis Solidarity FabLab, supprted by the association?

In my role as volunteer, I was part of the launch of the first Solidarity FabLab in Tunisia, the Tunisian Youth Science Fablab, which is supported by the Orange Foundation and Orange Tunisia. I consider myself very fortunate to have had this opportunity. It’s a dream come true. Today, our Solidarity Fablab is equipped with the most advanced machinery: 3D printers, CNC lasers, etc. We are working on really interesting projects like https://www.fondationorange.com/Smart-Khadhra?lang=en">Smart Khadhra", which was the last project we undertook for the "I make 4 my city" challenge organised by the Orange Foundation.

I have also become involved in all areas of the organisation; astronomy, energy, IT, aeronautics, and chemistry. Little by little I have developed a growing interest in technology, in robotics to be more precise. Through this I have been able to improve my skills in electronics, mechanics, and IT. Then I started to take on my own small projects, simple circuits, "arduino" programming, even coming up with concepts for robots. I was selected, along with three other Tunisian girls, to participate in an exchange programme called "TechGirls" in the USA, to develop my technical skills at some American companies and start-ups. When I came back to Tunisia, I started to spend a lot more time at the association, to organise more events and take part in more workshops.

It is thanks to the Solidarity Fablab that I am going to be able to pursue my studies and research in the area of bionics, and that I will be able to make robotic hands, feet, and even eyes, to transform the lives of disabled people. Putting smiles on people’s faces through my innovations is the best way I can think of to make our world more united!

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