Philippe Semanaz: "there is a friendly atmosphere"

Philippe Semanaz is Fabmanager at FabLab Artilect in Toulouse. He tells us about the involvement of Orange Solidarity volunteers in supporting young people through the Solidarity FabLabs programme.

How do Orange Foundation volunteers help your association?
Orange Foundation volunteers are great at welcoming the groups of young people. They provide individual support in the use of software and machines. Marc Léauté has left but Daniel Ganthe has taken over organising group schedules.

volunteering week Philippe Semanaz foundation orange fablab artilect toulouse

How important is their involvement?
Given the complexity of our machines, their perseverance and long-term involvement is really important to me. We will have to set up a skills award system so that the efforts of the outgoing volunteers can continue to help newcomers.

What do the beneficiaries of the Solidarity FabLabs programme think about this support?

The young people that we support seem surprised that "older people" are teaching them about these new FabLabs technologies. There is a bit of competition which automatically creates a friendly atmosphere.

And what do you think about it?

At first, I was a little sceptical about the skills they could learn. I realise now that they have completely adapted to the FabLab and its values, as well as use of the machines. They seem happy to teach and they work well with the young beneficiaries of the Solidarity FabLab project.

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