Building Bridges Statement

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.


Brainstorming and creating discussion

Time needed: ½ -1½ hours depending on the size of the group and amount of questions

Objectives / aim: Learn from others, reflect the topics on a deeper level in interaction with the group

Level of Difficulty: Easy;
The activity is quite easy to prepare, you basically only need to prepare questions or topics to discuss. However it is important that the topics are interesting, since the whole activity works around them! The activity is quite clear to facilitate and easy to implement if you don’t really know how much the participants know about the subject.

Resources needed: Big paper, marker pens, enough space where you can set groups to discuss in a distance from one another.

Number of participants: 12-40

Contact / Source: Emmi Ruohonen

    The World Café is built on the assumption that people already have within them the wisdom and creativity to confront even the most difficult challenges; that the answers we need are available to us; and that we are wiser together than we are alone.

    Select 4-6 topics or questions around which the participants brainstorm and discuss, and then write their ideas down for the next group to continue or they can use as starting points. This way everyone gets to share their ideas on each topic. The topics can easily be selected based on the theme, subject or age of the participants. With the topics of refugees and asylum seekers you can add for example opinions, media headings, statements, facts and questions.


    1. Divide the participants into groups of 3-7 people. Depending on the size of the group, choose one topic/question per group.

    2. Write the topics on a big paper and place them around the room. Give each group ~10 minutes to write down their ideas and discussions on the paper.

    3. Then ask the group to circulate to the next topic. Continue until every group has discussed about each topic.

    4. Discuss together about each topic. The last group of the topic can present what has been written in their paper. The facilitator can pick some interesting points and continue discussion about them.


      • This method is often used with groups in planning and as a starting point of creation work. However it can also be used with discussions and introduction to a subject or for the facilitator to get to know the groups ideas.
      • If possible you can name a facilitator for each group who stays always with the first topic. This way he/she can easily sum up what has been discussed to the next group. It would be great to have a facilitator outside of the participants, so that all participants could visit each topic. If no outside-facilitators are present, the person can be someone from the group but the person changes each round so that someone from the new group always stays with the last topic for one round, so that everyone gets to move.   
      • If the groups don’t have external facilitators, it would be important that the facilitator goes around the groups and makes sure that every group gets the discussion going.    
      • It is good to have 4 topics and at least 3 people per group. However if you have more than 5-6 topics or more than 7 people in a group, the discussion might be hard to organize and facilitate.


      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.