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.


A role-play on the meaning of territorial borders

    Time needed: 1 to 1,5 hours

    Objectives / aim: Question the existence of borders, raise awareness on migration issues

    Level of Difficulty: medium; Some participants will feel like they don’t have enough knowledge to participate, it is advised to have a session on migration law and history previously

    Resources needed: Prepare in advance some material that the participants can read – some simple articles, sites in the internet, etc.

    Number of participants: Minimum of 4 and maximum of 12

    Contact / Source: Tiago Lila

      The activity is basically a fake trial with two opposing sides. The group should be divided in two and each sub-group is randomly given one of the sides: «Territorial borders are necessary» versus «Territorial borders should be abolished». The groups are given half an hour to research material and information and to gather their arguments in favor of the opinion they have to defend.

      After that, the groups face each other in a large table and it’s time to debate. Only one person from each group can speak at a time but each person can speak more than once. You can put a time limit to each participation. Before each person starts speaking, it is mandatory that they make a summary of what the last person speaking said (apart from the first person speaking, obviously). Only if the last person speaking agrees with the summary, can the new person go on with their argument. Participants will realise how little we understand of the message of the others.

      The game can stop when they run out of arguments or if they start to divert from the topic. It shouldn’t last longer than one hour. Debriefing should follow, with the reunited group.


      1. Prepare informative material and two sets of paper and pencils for each subgroup.
      2. Inform the group of the methodology not telling them the topic
      3. Divide the group in two
      4. Inform them of the topic and of the opinion each group should defend
      5. Give them half an hour to prepare the argumentation
      6. Ask them to sit side by side within their group and facing the other group
      7. Inform them of the rules of speaking
      8. Moderate the debate to the least possible, making sure they respect the rules but not commenting on the content of the discussion
      9. Check time and finish game
      10. Debriefing


      • People will feel bored or annoyed of having to summarise the other’s opinion but it is important to keep this rule and the facilitator will have to make sure of this. In the debriefing it will be very interesting to analyse their reactions to this rule and why they think it exists.
      • Try to accompany each group’s preparation and make sure every person got a chance to share their ideas, even if not they do not feel that confident about the topic. One or two persons will take the lead in the argumentation and there is nothing you can do about it (to make a rule to avoid this is, is rather unproductive) but if all of them have a say in the preparation, you can better ensure the impact of the activity.


      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.