The Solidarity FabLab programme: an international digital education programme.

Actively supporting the future of young people means giving them the opportunity to turn their lives around with new technologies, training them in digital tools to develop their skills, improving their employability and ensuring that each one of them is eager to learn about digital professions. This is why we support 170 FabLabs aimed at young people who are unemployed and lack qualifications in 23 countries, including France.



What is a FabLab?

FabLabs (fabrication laboratories) were created in the United States in 1990 and are now found worldwide as part of a network. They combine all sorts of tools to work on an idea and create a finished object. They are open to everyone and offer the possibility of experimenting, learning, manufacturing and sharing know-how. A great way to develop new skills and consequently re-enter the job market.



A new innovative and free way of learning to train, remotivate and boost future generations! In France, over 70 organisations are recognised as FabLabs, and there are several hundred worldwide. They all offer engineers, designers, ‘start-uppers’ and more the opportunity to bring their dreams to life.

The first foundation to create Solidarity FabLabs

Our approach is original as we add a solidarity aspect to FabLabs, which host young people to teach them about new digital practices and develop their skills.
Specifically, we work with partner charities to organise digital education programmes for young people ages 16 to 25 who are at odds with traditional teaching methods, with an approach based on doing and sharing. The Solidarity FabLabs help young people to set up a project by learning to use 3D printers, digital milling machines and laser cutters among other tools. At the same time, they develop technical, digital and transverse skills, such as project management, and also gain experience working as a team – all valuable assets, no matter what career they decide to pursue.

Where and with whom?

We support projects in 23 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We work along side youth support charities. Training is provided by FabManagers, volunteers and Orange employees who support the young people.

As in all of our digital education projects, we can count on our volunteer employees and skills philanthropy participants to support the young people involved in the Solidarity FabLabs.
Offering everyone the possibility of reinventing themselves thanks to newer technologies is another aspect of digital solidarity and our commitment to offering everyone equal opportunities.
In addition, we organise the #Imake4MyCity challenge every year with our network of Solidarity FabLabs to highlight all the creativity of these young people in integration programmes in specific areas.
Discover what the young people have achieved in 2016, in 2017, in 2018 and in 2020 at the Solidarity FabLabs.

FabLabs can also often be found in our Solidarity Third Places.

You will also find Solidarity FabLabs in our Solidarity Third Places and in Orange Digital Centers. The Orange Digital Centers offer all audiences several digital project support and creation mechanisms, all in the one place and for all levels. The Orange Digital Centers, which providing opportunities and places where various groups can meet and discuss, include a computing ‘Code School’, a Solidarity FabLab to prototype projects and learn through doing, an Orange Fab, to develop partnerships between startups and one or more entities of the Orange Group, as well as Orange Ventures, an investment fund of €350 million with an international focus, to finance innovative startups in the fields of Orange expertise and beyond.