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.


About forced migration, human rights, peace & war

Time needed: 4-8 hours or a whole weekend! Preparation time depends on the program that is planned and resources that you already have.

Objectives / aim: Raise awareness about forced migration and human rights, bring asylum seekers and locals together

Level of Difficulty: medium; depends on the amount of existing resources and volunteer efforts in organizing such an event

Resources needed: Place, volunteers, speakers/facilitators, food, participants, possibly a small budget to cover the travel expenses of asylum seekers.

Number of participants: As many as you wish

Contact / Source: Emmi Ruohonen

KVT Finland organized a weekend of action with the topic of human rights, peace and conflict.

On Saturday local volunteers invited people from a local reception center to an outdoor trip in a Finnish national park. In the evening people were invited to watch short films about forced migration and human rights.

On Sunday there was a bigger event presenting a speech about asylum seekers’ adaptation into Finnish society, a workshop about the peace building process in South Sudan, a discussion about human rights in Ukraine and Russia and a documentary made from KVT’s Awakening Awareness theme camp. The Awakening Awareness exhibition was also set up in the space, accompanied, of course, by food and discussions.

You get the most out of the event if you invite refugees and asylum seekers to contribute in organizing it. There could be people who would be happy to cook something from their countries, tell their stories or present the situation in their countries.    


1. Select a specific topic for the event and discuss what kind of activities you want to include to it. Do you want to have an action day or a whole weekend?

2. Who could you invite to run workshops or make presentations about the topic?

3. Figure out how you can include asylum seekers in organizing the program and the other preparations and get in touch with them.

4. What kind of budget do you need?

5. Invite volunteers to help you to organize the event and help with practicalities.

6. Contact reception centers and put up some posters there about the event.

7. Define who will be cooking and what?

8. Advertise the event on your website, Facebook, mailing lists, through media, etc.


  • If the reception center is far, the participants from there might need transport. It might also be a good idea to send some volunteers to pick them up!
  • Try to have different kinds of activities in the event so that there is variation and different perspectives (for example not to have 4 different speeches about the topic in a row).
  • If you invite asylum seekers to present something, remember to include them in the planning process and to discuss their own limits on what they want to share.


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.