Realising your strengths and building on them
By Margit Hofer, Zentrum für Soziale Innovation — ZSI and Rene Alimisi, Edumotiva
This is the success story of Abu Bakar Jahangir. It’s the success story of somebody that understood his strengths and used the opportunities he could see in his living environment — the success story of somebody who built on his strengths and overcame obstacles.
And this is how it started: Mr Ganimas, an educator of the Network for Children’s Rights and coach proposed the eCraft2Learn H2020 project to include Abu in one of their pilot workshops on digital fabrication and making. He described Abu the following way: “Abu is 17 years old, comes from Pakistan, attends the educational programme of the Network for Children’s Rights and lives in a host house for unaccompanied children. During the period 2017–2018 we were looking for educational activities in which he could participate. Given his interest in robotics and programming, he happily agreed to join the eCraft2Learn workshops. He was not very talkative and rather reticent. He was mainly using English to communicate, despite the fact that he could also understand and speak Greek”.
Finally, Abu Bakar Jahangir took part in the eCraft2Learn workshops for computer-supported artefact constructions pilot activities, which comprised several hours of training with Arduinos, 3D printing and programming. The workshops were organised by Edumotiva — European Lab for Educational Technology in two rounds/phases from November 2017 to July 2018. Throughout the workshops, Abu Bakar Jahangir practised programming, electrical circuit making, 3D modelling and printing. During this time he realised his strengths and skills and further building upon them. By November 2018 things had changed and also Mr Andreas Ganimas noticed this change:
“After his participation in the eCraft2Learn workshops, we started recognising positive changes in Abu’s behaviour. He was becoming more self-confident and sociable. More precisely, while in the beginning, he was not a very active member in the team, he gradually took on a more active role, worked well with the other three team members and was even engaged in friendly discussions with them in Greek. The transition from English to Greek was important as in general he was very reluctant to communicate in Greek. The other team members contributed significantly to this as they were very supportive from the beginning and willing to communicate in English in order to facilitate his engagement in the team. He was also very interested in participating in the Athens Science Festival (ASF 2018) with his team and presented his work in public. His involvement in the ASF 2018 was actually the first positive sign; during the 2nd eCraft2Learn pilot we confirmed all these positive changes in his behaviour as he was much more confident in communicating with other young students, in carrying out key tasks towards the completion of the project and in working with others in order to achieve this goal.”
After the second pilot, Abu presented to the Network for Children’s Rights the idea to establish a robotics club in the facilities of the organisation. During the summer he worked closely with two more students to realise his idea. Together they succeeded in organising a creative team to introduce other students of the Network to the basics of robotics and established successfully a Robotics club for other young students. This is where we are now, but be assured that this success story will continue. After all, there is only one thing left to say: “All the best for your future, Abu!”
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“Entrepreneurial skills for young social innovators in an open digital world DOIT Europe” project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement №770063