Recently, we have started cooperating with the TOLOCAR project - a small innovative FabLab on wheels. Today it is a unique project that provides access to mobile production facilities and innovations in crisis situations.
We have previously created similar FabLab workshops in eastern Ukraine. Back then, they were not mobile but were located on the basis of educational institutions and public spaces. They were visited by children and young people who wanted to get acquainted with digital manufacturing technologies.
Due to the crisis situation in Ukraine, many families with children are displaced and have lost access to meaningful leisure and development, thanks to the mobile maker workshop, children and youth have the opportunity to spend quality time mastering the skills of the future.
"TOLOCAR is a mobile digital production workshop equipped with various numerically controlled machines. We travel to different locations and teach people how to work with it. We also collect information about the needs that such workshops can solve. Our main goal is to make as many such workshops available to everyone in Ukraine as possible," says Kostiantyn Leonenko, team leader of the project.
The class lasts about three hours. During this time, children develop a 3D image, which is then printed on a 3D printer. This makes it possible, on the easiest example, to look at the transformation of designs into physical models. One of such classes was held at the IDPs' accommodation center in Kolomyia, in the study room, which we have recently equipped with computers.
"At the classes, I introduce people to where 3D printing is generally used - from medicine to industrial design to mechanical engineering. I talk about how such devices change these industries, how the role of an architect, a doctor, an engineer changes. And through this I try to generate interest among young people," says Kostiantyn.
Tdh sees the Tolocar project as a great addition to our support for the personal and social development of the children affeted by the war. We help to organize sessions for the first acquaintance with Tolokar, and for sustainability, we have integrated into this process also sessions with psychologists aimed at personal development.
Our Tdh psychologists Olena Krazhevska and Oksana Melnyk conduct sessions with children aimed at revealing their own potential and setting goals. Thus, acquaintance with the possibilities of the TOLOCAR workshop can be transformed into a hobby or a sustainable plan for the future.
"Sessions on self-knowledge, goal setting, career guidance - this is the necessary minimum of knowledge that will help teenagers in the future to set clear goals for success - says Olena Krazhevska, psychologist of Tdh.
"We develop the program of sessions according to the age of participants, individual needs and capabilities - says Oksana Melnyk, Tdh psychologist. This allows us to make our meetings with children as relevant and productive as possible for them.
TOLOCAR is a program assisted by the German Government via the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH together with Resilience Innovation Facility.