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Intergenerational exchange and repair exhibitions in Roeselare

21 February 2023

Every year, many appliances that are still easily repairable are thrown away . Repairing is good for the environment AND fun to do! Learn more on the actions the city of Roeselare did to encourage greater awareness and introduce young people in the world of repair.

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Picture2 repairteens

How to get young people excited about repair?

In 2021, Repair Café Roeselare joined forces with the Repair teens project to organize a workshop at the Repair Café Roeselare. During this workshop youngsters explored, together with volunteers of the Repair Café Roeselare, what it means to be a repairer.

At different work stations the kids explored the skills and mindset needed to start repairing. A repairer presented the youngsters with a number of questions and challenges: How can you open this object? What parts do you see? How do you think this product works? What is going on here? While searching and experimenting, the youth gained a lot of knowledge about repairing bicycles, computers, electrical appliances and wooden objects.

For both the youngsters and the repairers of Repair Café Roeselare it was a pleasant and instructive experience. Interest was high, and the young people were enthusiastic to discover and search for solutions. Repairer Bertrand had a tip for Repair Cafés wanting to host a group of Repair Teens in the future: "I did find that you had to limit theoretical explanations, they were eager to do something right away."

For Repair Café Roeselare, the workshop was a successful try-out. The workshop was repeated in 2022 and currently, in collaboration with Vives Techniekacademie, a series of 8 training sessions is running in the urban repair center of Roeselare. During the sessions, within the topics of repair, maintenance and circular economy, kids learn how to repair under the guidance of a Repair Coach.

Repair in the spotlight

Repairing starts with paying attention. What is wrong with an object, what makes it stop working? To discover this, a repairer proceeds the same way as a doctor: by looking, listening, feeling. By asking questions and trying things. From 10 to 31 October 2022 the exhibition “Mooi Stuk" took visitors on this special journey of discovery at RSL Op Post, the local repair hub of the city.

The exhibition aims to encourage greater awareness and knowledge sharing and was developed by Repair Café International as part of the 10th anniversary of the Repair Café concept. “Mooi Stuk!” showcases repaired objects in a museum setting. Each object is accompanied by a short audio fragment with the repairer's analysis and insights. This offers a glimpse into the possibilities of extending the life of a coffee machine, trolley, chair, jeans and smartphone.

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