Biolab in Yaoundé, Cameroon
Starting the biolab
Ever since we met Thomas at several DIYbio events all over the world, we couldn't help but be impressed by his vision of how to appropriate makerspaces and technology in an African context. He is finishing the part of his PhD program in Quebec City and has to swap Canada for Cameroon in November. There, he will continue his work with the community and start the first open biolab in Cameroon.
Thomas already has a history of attempting to improve conditions in his home town. His wife and him have done research on balanced nutrition for babies using local ingredients, he freely shared science textbooks to improve education and he has built a well to provide his local town of water. Finally, he started a school, Zikulu Marie-Claire, where he now wants to install an Open Science lab and a biohackerspace. The space will serve as place for students to learn and for communities to use science to improve their daily lives.
Open Insulin is one of the first projects in the lab when it opens in December. Diabetes is a severe problem in Cameroon. Thomas and his team will contribute to the global collaboration to make insulin more accessible for patients. Read more about it in his blog post.
The Open Insulin and ReaGent teams offered to help get the lab started by donating lab equipment. The global DIYbio community quickly offered their spare equipment and support. However, there remain some financial hurdles to overcome: shipping the equipment to Yaoundé.
We kindly ask for your help to make this dream happen.
what you can do
- From incubators to PCR machines and plastic ware, you name it, lab stuff is hard to come by in Yaoundé. For a functional biolab, we have made a wishlist. You can find the list here. Please indicate if you can donate some of these materials.
- We will get creative in every way possible to get the lab equipment to Cameroon. Alas, we cannot fit an incubator in our air luggage, so we will need money for shipment. We estimate $5000 should cover the costs. Your donation, whatever amount, is appreciated. You will get an invite to follow the lab opening live in December over livestream.
- Help by spreading this message with kind people that have a heart for science and education. We thank you!
- Volunteer to organize the shipping and the implementation of the biolab. We appreciate all helping hands, creative minds or logistical wizards. Get in touch below.
Questions? Ideas? Want to help out? Encouraging words for Thomas? Use this form!