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.


Game to open discussion

    Time needed: 30-60 minutes depending on the size of the group and amount of opinions!

    Objectives / aim: Develop discussion skills, argumentation and to foster respect and open-mindedness.

    Level of Difficulty: The activity is quite easy to create; you need to prepare the questions and facilitate the discussion in the activity. However there are some points that you should consider and pay attention to.

    Resources needed: Room for the activity, facilitator, statements and a group.

    Number of participants: Any

    Contact: Emmi Ruohonen

    Where do you stand, is a good way of opening the discussion of the topic in a group and explore what kind of opinions the participants have about the subject. Explain the group that there is an imaginary line, where at one side there is “I fully agree” and on the other “I completely disagree” and in the middle “I don’t know/I don’t have an opinion”.

    The facilitator then makes a statement (here for example arguments about asylum seekers and refugees) and then people place themselves in line according to their opinion. The facilitator then asks a couple of participants, why they placed themselves where they are and facilitates the discussion around it and reacts to the statements.

    If the group seems to be confident enough, you can play the game so that the participants can have a debate about the question, trying to convince participants to get on their side.


    1. Consider the age, size and possible background information of the group, so that you are able to create suitable statements.
    2. Prepare the statements.
    3. It is also good to prepare some comments and questions to facilitate the discussion, if it does not come naturally. Sometimes it is good to also have some provocative ones to make reaction.
    4. Ask the participants to stand in the middle line and explain that you are now going to read out a series of statements with which people may agree or disagree to a greater or lesser extent. Point out the two extreme positions – the posters stating “I Agree” and “I Disagree”.
    5. Read out the statements one at a time.
    6. Stimulate reflection and discussion. Ask those at the end-points to explain why they have occupied these extreme positions.

    Reflection and discussion of the activity:
    Tips for debriefing discussion:

    • Were there any questions that people found impossible to answer – either because it was difficult to make up their own mind, or because the question was badly phrased?
    • Why did people change position during the discussions?
    • Were people surprised by the extent of disagreement on the issues?
    • Does it matter if we disagree about human rights?
    • Do you think there are “right” and “wrong” answers to the different statements, or is it just a matter of personal opinion?
    • Might it ever be possible for everyone to reach agreement about human rights?
    • Do we need any more rights? Could there be a third generation of rights?


      • Consider the age and other features of the group, so that the statements are not too easy or too difficult.

      • Remember to link this activity to the topic or theme that you are dealing with. If this is an independent exercise, remember to either make the statements on a very general level, or preferably have some information, discussion or exercise before to orientate the participants to the subject.

      • Try to create an easy-going warm environment, so that the group feels that they can share their opinions. However be understandable if someone doesn’t want to express their opinion about some statement.

      • Make sure that the discussion stays in a constructive level, so that nobody goes into a personal level or teases another based on their opinions.


      Reference / original source of the method:
      Compass – Manual for Human Rights Education with Young people (Council of Europe)


      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.