Home / Region + Country Categories  / Europe  / Italy  / ITALY: New Salesian Fabrication Laboratory Provides Technology Workshops for Unemployed Youth

ITALY: New Salesian Fabrication Laboratory Provides Technology Workshops for Unemployed Youth

(MissionNewswire) A new fabrication laboratory known as the “FabLab” has been built at the Don Bosco House in Taranto, Italy. The aim of the new lab is to enable youth to be able to access the most modern technological resources to develop their creativity and concrete products. This cutting-edge technology is not only a requirement within the most developed companies, its accessibility also provides those who aspire to achieve work in these fields the skills training and hands-on practice to obtain the job opportunities that bring long-term stability.

Italy, Europe’s third-largest economy, has close to 2 million children living in poverty, according to UNICEF. With more than 25 percent of the country’s children living in poverty, Italy has the highest percentage of child poverty out of all 25 European countries. The poverty rate has risen in the wake of Europe’s economic crisis and unemployment is at its highest level since the late 1970s with the overall jobless rate at 12.5 percent and youth unemployment as high as 41 percent. In the city of Taranto, nearly 60 percent of youth are neither in school nor employed.

The FabLab project was started in response to this growing youth unemployment rate in the city. The new laboratory will give a growing number of young people access to various technologies including printers, 3D scanners and programming languages ​​for Arduino cards. This will allow youth to develop their creativity and achieve practical results in an atmosphere of exchange and sharing of ideas.

Workshops in educational robotics based on the Arduino or LEGO approach, the use of open source programming, 3D modeling and more will be on offer to the young people accessing the lab. The workshops, which will be held for different age groups, will be aimed at all young people between 13 and 30 years old but priority will be given to youth who are not studying and do not have a job.

“Salesian missionaries know how important it is to provide poor and disadvantaged youth access to education and employment training both for the individual student’s professional development and for the economy,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian schools, youth centers and vocational training programs are educating poor youth and providing important social and vocational skills in Italy. The goal is to provide youth with the educational and job skills that will bring them livable wage employment and the opportunity to give back to their communities.”

The project will be managed by the members of the Don Bosco House Association and supported by the Salesian Foundation for Social Action as well as Father Ercole Cinelli, the parish priest of the St. John Bosco parish and Father Pasquale Cristiani, the Provincial of the Salesians in Southern Italy. The Don Bosco House Association aims to create a network of people and provides focus on educational development, cultural initiatives and workforce development training for youth and their families.

Salesian programs across Italy help youth who are unable to attend school and others who drop out to work at the few jobs available to them. A growing number of children work as laborers on farms and others have turned to the sex trade to help support their families. Those in poverty often live without adequate shelter, hot water, regular meals and health care. According to UNICEF, a growing number of youth are living away from their families in temporary shelters and within government and charity programs because of inadequate support from or neglect by their families. Salesian programs work to combat these challenges by providing shelter, nutrition, education and workforce development services for youth in need.



ANS – Italy – FabLab: technology and creativity at the service of youth

Casa Don Bosco

UNICEF – Italy Poverty

author avatar