But the Greek project couldn’t have happened without his friend Amed Khan, a former Clinton aide and investment banker, and Mike Zuckerman, co-founder of freespace, which converts unused space in San Francisco into places for artists and community groups.
It’s Khan who has spent nearly a year working with the Greek government, the Orthodox Church, local charities and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to put together the project.
After the Greek government agreed to pay the rent and utilities, Zuckerman moved in to consult with the migrants before designing the space to work best for them. He then managed more than 120 volunteers from around the world who did the renovation work.
It’s that kind of consultation with the recipients of aid that Giustra says is missing from most humanitarian projects.
“We got a facility that is suited to their needs. But more importantly, we restored their dignity. We made them feel that they’re important again, that they have a life again. We gave them hope for the future.”
It’s why the factory is called Elpida Home – elpida is the Greek word for hope.
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