Building Bridges Toolkit

The Toolkit was designed to collect and share the know-how on voluntary projects involving people seeking or who have recently found refuge, as well as raising awareness on forced migration in general. The collection of guidelines, methods and case studies is non-exhaustive and should simply foster your own inspiration and support you in implementing projects on the topic. The creation of the Toolkit has been driven by the ever bigger need of the international SCI network to exchange best practices on projects in the field. It was coordinated by SCI Switzerland with the support of Útilapu Hungary. Its existence wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Mercator Foundation Switzerland and the active contribution of the Building Bridges working group and a number of SCI branches.

METHODS AND TOOLS serve to support your work on the topic of refugees and migration with different target groups.


Ideas and tips on how to organise it

    Time needed: 1-2 hours or longer

    Objectives / aim: raise awareness, break stereotypes, promote critical thinking and constructive approach to the issue

    Level of Difficulty: medium; the level can vary depending on your plan

      In response to the migration situation in Europe, SCI international community united around the recommendation to try and include in the study part of workcamps in 2016 a component about refugees and how our society should react to the recent migration phenomenon. Below, you’ll find some ideas and tips how to organise this. In addition, in the «study part» category you’ll find various methods that you can use directly or adapt to your needs, when planning more specific content.


      1. Decide in which of your workcamps you want to include a study part on refugees. If it is on more than one workcamp, it could help you to appoint a person to coordinate this initiative.

      2. Make sure you inform the potential workcamp volunteers about it. Put information about the refugee focus of the study part in the description of the workcamp on and label it as a Building Bridges workcamp.

      3. Decide who is going to organise and implement the study part in each workcamp. Is it going to be the camp coordinator, local activist or organisation, project partner (if they have interest/expertise), someone from SCI’s office? When choosing the person, consider which choice would need least organisational support, while providing the biggest impact.

      4. Ensure that the persons organising the study part has all the support they need – provide them with more information about the initiative, resources they can use to plan their session (link to the toolkit), useful contacts. If you delegate the study part to camp coordinators, then include a special session about it in the preparation seminar.

      5. Follow up on the study part plan with the designated person (especially, if they do something like this for the first time). What are they planning? Is it realistic or too ambitious? Can they prepare it themselves?

      6. After the study part, collect feedback from the designated person and participants on how it went and if it was interesting and useful. Make sure to share good practices on this toolkit, so others can benefit from them as well.



              • If the focus of the workcamp is different from the migration issue, try to make a logical connection between both, when introducing the study part. One simple way is to first talk about SCI and then inform volunteers that making study parts on refugees is a worldwide SCI initiative because of the current migration situation. Another approach is to actually try to find and make clear the connection between the topic of the workcamp and the topic of refugees (e.g. how climate change leads to war for resources, climate refugees, etc.).
              • Start small: Prepare a session of 1-2 hours. Then depending on the interest of the volunteers and free time available, it can extend to 2-3 evenings
                eg. watching movies on the topic, discussing further, etc.
              • Make the study part interactive: involve games and media resources if possible. Consider your limitations – possible language barriers, lack of internet, electricity, etc. In any case, avoid long lectures, where volunteers only listen, as this could have a negative effect.
              • If possible, try to involve local experts or activists on the topic that could share not only a general overview, but also the specific challenges in the country and region.
              • Another good way to raise awareness on the topic is to invite a refugee or asylum seeker to tell their story. They could even come and cook a meal from their specific country and eat together with the volunteers. If asylum seekers or refugees could be involved as volunteers in a workcamp, this could be even better than a study part, as other volunteers would be in constant contact with them.
              • The study part could involve the project partner and the local public as well. One idea could be to start with a study part session only among volunteers and then organise an awareness raising action among the local community.


              You can share your experience, observations, tips and tricks, pictures etc. by uploading for instance a method or a case study to the Building Bridges Toolkit. As this Toolkit is a work in progress to which all involved parties are invited to contribute, we would also be very grateful for your support and contribution in order to inspire others to continue the work towards peace and intercultural understanding.