Are you a youth, living in Africa? Looking for a physical or online community makerspace where you can express your gifts, skills and creativity?
Do you want to engage children, collaborate with other young and passionate makers, through Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Projects?
You are in the right place! Click below to Join us.
Inside Our Makerspace
As Seen On
A LITTLE HISTORY
Since 2017, we have been running the Prikkle Academy Grassroots Makerspace in Nigeria.
It is a physical community innovation space where kids and youths can freely choose tools, find people and collaborate, in their communities, mobilize their individual skills and community assets to create solutions.
If you have been looking for ways to explore your creativity, we recently launched the virtual makerspace, where you can meet other changemakers using their education and skills to solve community problems.
WHAT IS A MAKERSPACE?
As defined by Makerspace.com, “A makerspace is a collaborative workspace inside a school, library or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools.
These spaces are open to kids, adults, and entrepreneurs and have a variety of maker equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, soldering irons and even sewing machines.
A makerspace, however, doesn’t need to include all of these machines or even any of them to be considered a makerspace. If you have cardboard, legos and art supplies you’re in business”
At the makerspace, we are motivated by the often overlooked creativity and ingenuity of kids and youths across grassroots communities in Africa.
We believe that real empathy is understanding the abilities in you and to share those talents in a meaningful way to the world.
To learn how to translate your knowledge, skills, and passion into practical solutions for yourself and your community, click below:
How we started the grassroots makerspace.
1. Have a community support system: To start our first community makerspace in Afon Community, Kwara State, Nigeria, we had identified different children and youths in the community who had different ideas, but had nobody and nowhere to get the tools they needed to flourish.
The next of people we identified, are people we call grassroots facilitators – they live and work within the community, they have relevant skills to share with others, but they needed basic digital tools to share their knowledge with other youths.
They were eager to be part of the development of their community. They know that the internet is a huge resource that youths can use to create solutions to community problems rather than waste away their youthful days.
2. Leverage the community assets: it is likely that you makerspace will start as a nonprofit or charge low fees, depending on the legal setup you choose when registering the organization. Prikkle Academy is registered in Nigeria as a non-profit organization, so it was important to keep our budgets low and still successfully run programs.
When we were looking for a centre to use, we moved round the community looking out for abandoned government building and ‘unused community spaces’ and we were surprised to find out nothing less than 5 of such assets.
We reached out to the Local Government, with the backing of the community people that we had initially created and we got the approval to use one of the buildings (although, the process took at least 7 months, due to political bureaucracy).
3. Create Awareness Internally and Externally: We are deliberate with local partnerships. For example, we partnered with Afon Volunteers Initiative (AVI), when got into Afon community and they helped us to do a lot of heavy lifting. We also work with 6 primary schools, setting up creativity sessions with them and running an annual Children’s Day Creativity Competition with them. This helped us put the word out about our work.
At our makerspace, we are deliberate with the use of social media. It has helped us secure national and international partnerships to get spread our impact and reach.
The more you share, the more you blog about it, send your news to the media and talk to everyone that can listen, the better for your makerspace to flourish.
4. Think of becoming a self-sustaining makerspace: You will need tools, money and people. We asked people for the things they weren’t using again and community people donated in-kind gifts and their skills. At the same time, we write grant proposals to external organizations and we were able to secure about that gave us a great start.
Going forward, we knew it was important for the makerspace to generate its income, to be able to run without the dependence on external funding. It is great when a makerspace can think of an idea and right there you have the resources to refine it, then back it when some kind of funding.
Now, we have different ways of generating income and we are constantly on the look out for new sources to complement other makerspace projects and activities.
— There are more things to consider, but the important is to get started even when you don’t have everything figured out.