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    Bringing refugees together to create something beautiful

    Day 23

    Unlocking Creativity

    This year marked the 82nd Thessaloniki International Fair! It’s a time for this Northern Greek community to come together to explore advances in science, technology, and the arts. But few people realize the enormous cultural gifts that refugees in Thessaloniki can bring to the table.

    That’s why our partners Communitere wanted to use the festival as an opportunity for refugees to have their voices heard – in a creative way.

    So on Day 22, we brought together refugees and migrants that live in and around Thessaloniki with a Greek Architecture firm to design and built the chill-out space for the festival!

    Greeks, Syrians, Nigerians, and Spanish refugees worked together, bringing their unique creative perspectives, overcoming language and cultural barriers. Together, they designed a number of modular installations, reusing and upcycling available material.

    As participants were working together, solving the practical problems of design and construction, they got to know, listen, and respect each other. They started off separated based on language or ethnicity, but in the end joined together in a single buzzing bunch.

    “I felt alive again, using the tools of my profession,” one of the refugees told us. It’s been a long time since he’s been able to use his carpentry skills.

    The event was a success – and the chill-out space for the festival turned out beautifully. At the end of the day, it was hard to get all the designers to leave because they were having such a great time. They worked together to not only build art – but a mutual understanding and respect for each other.

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    Changemakers 365

    by Alight


    The world’s tough problems can seem insurmountable. So at Alight, while we tackle those big problems we also do what’s doable. Right then. And that’s what Changemakers 365 is all about. Learn more!


    Changemakers 365 members give either $30 per month or a one-time gift of $365 (it’s free for anyone who has ever lived in a refugee camp). Join us!

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