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FabLab Győr, Hungary – Using innovation to bridge inequality gaps

2020-11-05

Children and youth belonging to minority groups are the most vulnerable to social and economic exclusion even in the developed urban areas, such as the city of Gyor in Hungary. Terre des hommes and its partner set up a Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) in Győr to empower children and youth and improve their knowledge and future employability. Being open to everyone, this innovative environment fosters social cohesion among all community members.

As a result of the project:

  • 240 disadvantaged children and youth are trained within the FabLab
  • 60% of the children who create at least one product in the FabLab are girls
  • 240 children and youth engage in psycho-social support activities

With a population of just under 10 million, Hungary is made up of contrasting regions when it comes to economic and social development. Although the city of Győr is one the most developed in Hungary and boasts an unemployment rate of just 4%, this number is significantly higher among young people (12% of youth aged 15-24 are unemployed) and specifically those coming from disadvantaged groups such as the Roma minority. The disadvantaged children are unable to develop their current and future cultural, social and economic opportunities, facing significant difficulties in schooling, motivation, integration and pathways to employment.

By setting up a FabLab in Győr and organising related activities, Terre des hommes aims to foster the skill development and integration of disadvantaged children and youth. A FabLab is a physical space offering various tools (computers, 3D printers, laser cutter, vinyl cutter, Arduino boards etc.) for digital fabrication.

We train children and young people in Győr to use the specialised equipment available in the FabLab and design and create their own products. Beside the digital manufacturing activities, our partner Pressley Ridge Hungary applies a broader experiential education methodology, where children with more serious issues are diagnosed and take part in therapeutic activities.

Children and youth develop digital technology and manufacturing skills

More than 240 children and young people are engaged in the FabLab activities and learn to use innovative methods of creating a wide range of products. They are familiarised with specialized equipment, as well as develop their soft skills, such as teamwork, adaptability, responsibility, and goal setting, that can help them in personal, social and future professional contexts.

Empowering children and youth

Throughout the project, children and young people are empowered to design their own products and choose the methods of production. By fully participating and having ownership of the creative process and final product, they build their self-confidence and become motivated to pursue their goals.

Increasing social cohesion

The Fablab brings together children and youth from various social backgrounds and creates the context in which they can socialise, work on common projects, learn about each other and build relationships. The activities also serve as a bonding experience between children and child protection professionals who are there to supervise and offer support.

Project duration: January 2019 – June 2021

Partner: Pressley Ridge Magyarorszag Alapitvany

Donors: Volkswagen Employee Foundation (Tdh Germany as subdonor)

Total budget: 280 000 EUR

Contact: Olsi Dudumi, Regional Innovation & Youth Empowerment Officer, olsi.dudumi@tdh.ch