Innovation Lab brings robotics, tech training to the camps

(Photo: Handouts from UNHCR)
(Photo: Handouts from UNHCR)
AMMAN — For refugees whom have been living in camps, a tech training program has brought skills training and place to explore their creativity, since it was established in 2018 by the UNHCR. اضافة اعلان

Innovation Lab is based in all of Jordan’s Syrian refugee camps. It was designed as an all-inclusive space to develop new skills, explore creative impulses, and follow through on ideas in a space that is supportive for participants of all ages and genders.

“Zaatari camp was established in 2012. We are talking about a whole other generation that is being raised inside the camp,” said Mohammad Al-Taher, external relations officer at UNHCR. “UNHCR and our partners, we support refugees, with their ideas and dreams. We help them implement their ideas.”

The initiative provides multiple different trainings, including in topics such as robotics, recycling, 3D printing, coding, and artificial intelligence. All of the trainers are members of UNHCR who are volunteering their time. 

Marwan Al-Zaabi, Innovation Lab coordinator, told Jordan News: “When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Jordan, there were multiple robots that were worked on and are currently being updated and improved.” Using their resources, the lab was able to give online lessons to continue the trainings during the lockdowns.

The programming hopes to combine education with fun. Zaabi explained that “3D printing is new to the camps. We are currently working and teaching (students) to make prototypes.”

Since the Innovation Lab has been involved in the camps, they have also included members of Jordanian host communities who can join the trainings under specific circumstances.

Currently, about 70 percent of the lab’s beneficiaries are girls and women. Alaa Al-Qasem, the lab’s social media coordinator told Jordan News: “I have noticed that when the refugees arrived in Jordan, they were nervous to let their daughter do anything. However they have become more aware from seeing the volunteers in the camps from different partners; they have become aware of the fact that they should allow the girls to get an education, a chance.” 

“We try to help them think of ideas and we support them to implement them,” Zaabi said. 

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