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    Designing Mobile Resource Centers

    Day 215

    Beginning to Take Shape

    On Day 215, the Communitere team is continuing their work to engage and understand the community in Greece they’re seeking to serve – refugee families, Greeks hit hard by the economic crisis, and grassroots local organizations focused on helping. One of Communitere’s core beliefs is that in order to create a valuable resource that can make change for a community, that community must be engaged from the very beginning. So, today they’re hosting their second design workshop with the refugee and host community in Thessaloniki, Greece.

    Communitere’s first workshop focused on revealing community needs and what could be done to help. At today’s second workshop they got more specific about the mobile resource center (MRC) they are trying to design for the community to use – what should the MRCs be, what should be in them and how could they reach the largest number of people possible. Again they invited local Greeks, refugees and grassroots local organizations to help shape the final product. Including people from the very start costs little but makes a huge difference – it’s the essence of doing the doable.

    Participants split into groups and discussed the talents and human resources of the refugees living in the camps and in the city. They talked about the types of problems refugees would try to solve if they had the tools and the type of equipment that was needed in camps (like sewing machines and free weights).

    “Every refugee has talents inside them, everyone has their skills or profession they are bringing from their country,” said one Syrian refugee who participated in the workshop. “We have to motivate them and find them a chance to work. It would be great to have competitions or games, or specific workshops like a carpenter workshop, photographer workshop, these things,” he said. “Refugees need the chance to build their mind, to build hope inside them. Just we have to create something, I don’t know what it is, but we’ll have to find it (laughing).”

    By the end of the workshop, the mobile resource center existed as a prototype – a large hauling van and a large trailer equipped with tools, art supplies, workspace, and other resources. So the next phase is taking action to outfit a mobile resource center and a static, centrally located resource center.

    Stay tuned as Communitere works on creating these abundant spaces for cooperation, partnership and change – and engages the broader global community to help make it happen.

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