Active in Damascus a laboratory donated by AMAR, WASP and Arche 3D
Students and teachers at work to give relief to war victims
The little Syrian seems perplexed, maybe he doesn't understand well what's going on. Then he sees the colored artificial limb that was applied him in place of the missing right arm and his face lights up in a smile that warms our heart.
This is one of the first 3D printed prostheses in the laboratory that the association AMAR Costruire Solidarietà Reggio Emilia, WASP and Arche 3D WASPHub Mantova donated to the University of Damascus. "Who knows - says Massimo Moretti, CEO of WASP - maybe that child lost his arm just because of an Italian anti-man mine. Now he knows that not only weapons are produced in Italy”.
Let's take a step back. More than year ago Jean Bassmaji, a Syrian cardiologist who has been living in Reggio Emilia for several years,together with Carlo Masgoutiere from Arche 3D, arrived at WASP headquarters with a very special request.
Jean is the founder of AMAR, an association created to help his people plagued by wars. He learned that among WASP product there is the” Digital Orthopedic Laboratory“ and came at WASP to ask for a discount on the purchase of a Digital Orthopedic Laboratory to install in Syria. Jean was amazed and touched when Moretti, in a rush, decided to offer the whole Orthopedic Laboratory perfectly equipped free of charge for the Damascus university - The offer includes ng both the printers and the training necessary to realize prosthesis.
Further to this first meeting a feverish work starts in order to produce deliver and install the laboratory in Syria. The relations with Damascus to involve the University are soon created, but the obstacles met during the path were innumerable. For example, it was necessary to create the proper conditions to have the machines safely shipped to Syria by ship. Meanwhile Professor Firas Al-Hinnawy (Faculty of Medical Bioengineering - University of Damascus), was in Italy, at the WASP headquarters, to attend a training course that allowed him to transfer the necessary knowledge of how to use 3d printers at best,to his students .
And now with a jump to the present day, for more than one month we have had a Delta WASP 4070 Industrial and a Delta WASP 2040 PRO, plus a scanner, a pc, a monitor and some technical materials, that form the equipment of the laboratory at the university campus in Damascus. Here people work to give relief to hundreds of about 50 thousand mutilated in the country. The prostheses are made starting from the open source files of the e-NABLE project.
Together with Jean Bassmaji, Carlo Masgoutiere went personally to Syria for about ten days and contributed to the further training of students and professors. Carlo returned enthusiastically: "There is great excitement - we were welcomed with all the honors. Now the goal is to train as many people as possible and make more and more sophisticated prostheses. The exchange of knowledge is virtuous. For example, a Syrian girl has already developed a system with ten movements, which are stored on the existing arm and transferred to the mutilated part”.
"The two bases of the bridge have been laid - adds Massimo Moretti - Now groups of people so far apart can give shape to the same thoughts. What is planned in Damascus can be materialize in Italy and vice versa, without problems of borders and checkpoints".
"Finally, our dream has become reality," says Jean Bassmaji enthusiastically. "The Orthopedic laboratory for Syrian mutilated people has been installed at the Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Damascus. Here about ten students (mostly women) are working and four teachers every day. In Syria we met a country exhausted after nine years of war. But Syria is also tenacious and full of hope. The population is friendly and hospitable. But our work is certainly not finished yet: the laboratory must grow and become more and more a scientific reference point, as well as a human goal ".
Thanks are due to all who have concretely supported the AMAR, WASP and Arche 3D project. In particular the Boorea social cooperative, the Reggio Emilia’s Arci circles, the artist Sergio Fermariello and many private people from Reggio Emilia, Chieti, Mantua, Naples and Lauria (Potenza).