Migrants use digital ‘fab labs’ to address Djibouti health protection shortages

To ease the strain on Djibouti’s health system and support medical facilities during the COVID-19 crisis, young migrants in the country are using 3D-printers to make face shields. The shields are produced in a training space called the ‘fab lab’ (digital fabrication space) funded by the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) which trains vulnerable youth in digital fabrication skills and computer literacy. The fab lab hinges on open software to provide the required equipment alongside employability skills to young people who are deprived of formal education. ‘Innovative approaches to dealing with the COVID-19 response are essential … This shows how creative digital spaces can be put to use for collective good. We offer opportunities to young people who have not had access to formal education, are on the streets and at risk of many dangers, to learn a vocation and find ways to respond to challenges they and others face,’ said IOM Chief of Mission in Djibouti Stéphanie Daviot.