Editor’s Note: Broadcom Community Heroes recognizes civic engagement and volunteerism by Broadcom employees around the globe, who may nominate themselves or their colleagues for recognition under guidelines set forth by Broadcom Foundation. The Community Engagement Committee honors these employees with a $500 gift in their honor from a list of qualifying charities. In this series on the blog, we’ll profile each Community Hero to share stories about their interests and work benefiting their communities around the world.
Roland Vossen, Engineer, Principal – Software Development, Bunnik, Netherlands, uses his engineering acumen and generosity of spirit to volunteer every month at Repair Café Nieuwegein where he fixes broken devices owned by people who do not have the resources to replace their mechanical or computerized items. By applying his knowledge, time and materials, he helps people in need and preserves the environment by reducing needless waste.
What inspired you to get involved?
I find it wasteful when stuff is thrown away without any attempt to repair it. I also have a lot of fun finding and solving defects on all kinds of devices.
What surprised you most about your work?
I didn’t anticipate the participation and enthusiasm from people that I am helping. Often, they want to learn and assist me with the repair, and they enjoy it as well.
What do you most look forward to when fixing devices?
Challenging repairs that need a lot of brainpower from multiple people – I enjoy working with others while sharing and spreading knowledge.
Where do you see the greatest impact in the community?
I see a big impact when people realize that devices can be fixed and still used, instead of creating waste. I would like to see the manufacturing industry pay more attention to the “repairability” of a design.
A woman came in with a synthesizer. I managed to repair it, and the woman started playing the instrument, first, as a test, but soon she began playing all sorts of pieces for at least an hour, lifting everyone’s spirit in the Repair Café. Sometimes something as mundane as repairing devices leads to something extraordinary.