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.


Intercultural game on stereotypes

    Time needed: 30 min

    Objectives / aim: Explore stereotypes and how they influence our expectations

    Level of Difficulty: easy

    Resources needed: A ball, Paper and pen for the observer, flip chart and marker pen

    Number of participants: 8 – 10

    Note: larger groups can be subdivided

      It is said that creative work needs to be done in loneliness, have you ever tried to create a story with 10 people or more? Here’s an opportunity to try it!

      This game aims to explore the images we have about people from other cultures, social groups etc. and to be aware of how these images condition our expectations of people who belong to other groups


      1. Ask people to sit in a circle.

      2. Ask one of them to be the observer. Explain that they have to sit outside the circle and write down the story which is going to be created.

      3. Explain to the rest of the group that together they are going to create a co-operative story. For this they are going to use a ball.

      4. Then say: « This is the story of Antonio, a young man from Madrid » and pass the ball to a member of the group and invite them to continue with the next one or two sentences of the story, and to then pass the ball to someone else.

       5. Continue in this way so that the story is built cooperatively.

       6. After 10 or 12 turns ask for the ball and say: « Antonio knows Ali, a Moroccan boy who also has a story » and pass the ball back to someone in the circle and ask them to start telling Ali’s story.

       7. Bring the activity to an end after about 10 or 15 minutes.

       8. Debriefing and evaluation: Ask the observer to read the notes they took about the stories. Then ask the group to say what the stories of Antonio and Ali tell them about their different lives and follow on with comments about how this relates to the images we have about young men from Madrid and Morocco. Make notes of the main points on flip chart. Ask where these images come from. Did everyone have similar images of Spain and Morocco? Why? Why not?


      1. Divide the group into two sub-groups and ask each group to work on only one of the stories. Afterwards, compare the two. This variation has the advantage that the participants do not suspect that the stories are to be compared. It is important that the participants are split into the sub-groups at random.
      2. Form two sub-groups and ask each group to draw or write the biography, or an important moment in the life, of one of the characters in the story. Afterwards compare the two biographies or stories. 


      • It is best if the story is made spontaneously and with a fast rhythm. In this case the observer may have difficulty in noting everything down. This problem may be solved by having a second observer or by recording the story on a tape.
      • It is important that the activity is initially presented simply as the creation of a co-operative story.
      • The names of the characters will lead the group to the theme you want to explore. Therefore, if for instance, you want to do some work around immigrants you should choose names traditionally associated with the majority of immigrants. If you want to deal with images of men and women, choose male and female names.
      • This activity can be adapted to any situation where there is discrimination by setting the scene in the first sentence of the story: « this is the story of Frank, a young homosexual… » or « this is the story of Maria who is physically disabled… » and compare it to the story of somebody from the mainstream society.



      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.