The worldwide deployment of Solidarity FabLabs continues with our first in Romania, in partnership with the Iași FabLab association.
Over the course of a year, 90 disadvantaged young people in the county of Iași, aged from 16 to 25, will receive training where they will be introduced to and learn the techniques and tools of digital fabrication, such as customised CAD, 2D software, 3D printing, laser and vinyl cutting and CNC milling. There will also be a module with an introduction to electronics.
At the same time, these young people will benefit from vocational guidance and job opportunities, thanks to introductions to companies in the region.
In Romania, as elsewhere, the programme promotes the employability of young people thanks to digital technologies. It is intended for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom are in the NEET category, persons who are not in education, employment or training. For them, poverty, a lack of education, and dropping out of school early are all barriers to opportunities for socio-professional integration.
“Thanks to this programme, we can give young people the opportunity to prepare for the trades of the future in a collaborative environment, based on mentoring and practical learning experiences, all of it built with and around technology. It is important that vulnerable young people take these lessons, to ensure they are integrated into the labour market”, explains Dana Deac, president of the Orange Foundation Romania.
The Solidarity FabLab will be hosted by the Iași FabLab, which will therefore become a multifunctional space, set up with new equipment bought with our help. The training will also be made possible thanks to funding from Orange Foundation Romania.
“We conceived this project under the slogan ’Access your future’ and I believe that the partnership with the Orange Foundation will be a successful addition to the services already offered by the Iași FabLab makerspace. In this way we are increasing the take-up of technological training and professional conversion, by young people who have limited material opportunities,” declared Dan Zaharia, president of the Iași FabLab association.
Launched in 2014, Solidarity FabLabs are an international programme now implemented by the Orange Group Foundation in 19 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle-East. This year, in the context of the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus, 52 Solidarity FabLabs in 7 countries adapted their activities to meet the urgent needs of the health system and produced around 220,000 visors given to front-line doctors in numerous local hospitals.