Fab Lab Ioannina

An innovation space to reach vulnerable youth

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Greece

There are now over 70,000 refugee and asylum seeking men, women and children in Greece, with approximately 4,335 more arriving each month. of war, loss of home, and income and disruption to kinship networks, means that many asylum seekers and refugees in Greece health conditions which are simply not being catered to. These are often worsened by their living conditions in Greece.

Located in the Community Centre of Ioannina, the purpose of ConstrACT Lab is two-fold. On the one hand, it is designed to be a room full of advanced digital manufacturing technologies allowing the creation of projects with creativity being the only boundary. On the other hand, it represents an innovative and captivating non-formal education tool providing young refugees with practical digital skills while contributing to improve their resilience.

The FabLab project is not designed to be an additional stand-alone element but is part of the Tdh integrated response to education and protection needs of refugee children and their caregivers in the European migration crisis. Moreover, it is a specific answer to the need of activities for both teenagers and youth adults by complementing already existing Tdh activities

The project mixes both soft educative activities that could be linked to Tdh education and PSS activities, with creation of products or at least programs. The physical location of the FabLab in the Community Center where is also deployed the IdeaBox (project done in partnership with BSF) and where will be offered other social and educational activities also opens the possibility of developing potential synergies

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Challenges and opportunities

Adaptability: Although the age group of the participants was younger than initially expected (mostly 10-12 years old instead of older teenagers), the FabLab adapted itself to their needs

Host community participation: In order to enhance the integration of the host community, we collaborate with the University of Ioannina to organise student workshops

Mobility of the target population: Thanks to the global FabLab network,refugee youth and children that visited the FabLab in Ioannina have the possibility to join another FabLab in their destination country

Affordability: For the FabLab in Greece, costs were already reduced significantly in comparison to the price of a conventional FabLab, but the long-term ob-jec tive is to decrease it even more to less than 10,000 CHF

One of the goals of the FabLab is to offer a collaborative open space for both refugees and the local community as well as to provide users with the required initial knowledge and assistance for the creation of personal and participative projects. Workshops are offered regularly, allowing users to enhance their creativity and to implement their own projects and designs. It’s far more than just 3D printing. The digital know-how they get in the FabLab is an important factor for their future employability and a way to improve their psychosocial wellbeing through activity and achievement.

Want to create a fablab, or join the project?

We are working hard on adding all the resources we have so you can use the technology as well. Check back here soon, or feel free to contact us if you want to start on it now!