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.
Steps to add the BB label to your workcamp:
- Edit your workcamp description in OPS:
a) Under “Options” choose yes next to “Building Bridges” in order to activate the label
b) Add the short text in “Notes” or “Study Theme” about the programme (see above).
- Inform the volunteers on the camp about the Building Bridges programme, its activities and current issues on the topic of forced migration.
- Make a short contribution with your experience from the workcamp to the Building Bridges Toolkit (share a useful method or case study from your project). Or vice versa – you can use the toolkit for inspiration and put a method/project idea from it to practice.
- Share pictures and quotes/stories from the workcamp and encourage your volunteers to share their experience in SCI’s Voices of Volunteers Blog.
Remember the importance of sharing knowledge and experience in order to inspire others and to help other activists working in the field!
As part of the Building Bridges Programme, SCI enables to have a “Building Bridges” label (aka BB label) for workcamps involving asylum seekers and refugees or raising awareness on the topic of forced migration. If you wish, SCI International can support you in the promotion for your workcamp. Each workcamp, joining the BB label will help a lot in drawing positive attention on the topic and contributing towards peace and intercultural understanding!
Please, read carefully the following information about the cases for labelling and follow our advices in order to take part in Building Bridges.
- Workcamps, where volunteers work directly with asylum seekers and/or refugees
Any workcamp, where the international group of volunteers is involved in activities with asylum seekers or refugees can be considered and therefore labelled as a BB one. You can find case studies of such workcamps in the Building Bridges Toolkit (e.g. in Switzerland, Greece, Italy, Finland and others), as well as successful methods already implemented in the activities of other SCI branches. Following the guidelines in the BB Toolkit on how to organise a workcamp with asylum seekers/refugees and prepare volunteers for this experience will definitely contribute to the success of your workcamp.
If you’re organising such a workcamp and want to join the Building Bridges programme, then apart from adding the BB label, we also ask you to add the following text in the “Notes” of your workcamp description:
«This workcamp is part of SCI’s international «Building Bridges» programme, which aims to raise awareness and stimulate reflection about the current refugee situation and forced migration in general. Volunteers will be able to learn more on the topic as well as share knowledge and experiences about the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in different countries. Find out more about the programme here:»
After your workcamp is over, it would be great if you can share your experience by adding the description of your project or a successful method you used to the BB Toolkit. Thus you can inspire and help other activists working in the field.
- Workcamps involving asylum seekers and/or refugees in the group of international volunteers
Building Bridges workcamps are about making activities not for but with asylum seekers or refugees. Therefore, even if the topic of your workcamp is not connected to forced migration, if you include asylum seekers or refugees among the international group of volunteers, you can still label it as a “Building Bridges” one. This has been a successful practice for many years by KVT Finland, SCI Italy and it is now being replicated by other SCI branches as well. In the BB Toolkit you can check out the detailed guidelines on how to involve asylum seekers or refugees in workcamps.
Again, if you’re organising such a workcamp and want to join the Building Bridges programme, apart from adding the BB label, we also ask you to add the following text in the “Notes” of your workcamp description:
«This workcamp is part of SCI’s international «Building Bridges» programme, which aims to raise awareness and stimulate reflection about the current refugee situation and forced migration in general. People with migration background will join and work together with the international group of volunteers. Find out more about the programme here: «
After your workcamp is over, it will be of great value if you can contribute to the BB Toolkit by reviewing and adding notes from your experience to the guidelines for involving asylum seekers/refugees in workcamps. Thus other activists can use your insights in future projects.
- Workcamps including a study part on forced migration
You can even join the programme if you organise a study part in any other workcamp on forced migration, which:
- Lasts at least 1.5 hours in total and preferably includes participatory methods, where volunteers can join a discussion on the topic and express their opinions;
- Is led by a person/people – activist(s) with experience in working with asylum seekers/refugees or someone with good knowledge on the topic; external experts can also lead the study part instead of/in addition to activists.
The study part can be organised in various ways, such as: simulation game, role play, storytelling, debate, movie screening, study visit, etc. For more details and to get some inspiration, check out the BB Toolkit’s methods and especially the page Study part on refugees in SCI workcamps.
If you plan a workcamp with a BB study part, apart from adding the BB label in OPS, please add the following text in the “Study Theme” of your workcamp description (or in “Notes” if there’s no space in the “Study theme” section):
«In support of SCI’s international “Building Bridges” programme, there will also be a study session, aiming to stimulate reflection about the current refugee situation and forced migration in general, discussing how we can contribute to the peaceful coexistence of people from all origins in our home communities. Find out more about the programme here:»
After your workcamp is over, we’ll ask you to share the methods you used in your study part (or feedback on a method you took from the BB Toolkit) in order to contribute to the BB Toolkit (the BB toolkit admins will contact you for further instructions). Sharing your experience will help other SCI organisations to organise themselves more and more effective study parts on the topic in the future.