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Bridges Byond Borders

Put yourself in his shoes ... feel the other to know, understand and communicate.

Photo of Cser Cser

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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

The goal of the project is to combat xenophobia among the young through a deeper understanding of migration phenomena. For this reason, the project will involve young people on an emotional level and not only on a cognitive level. The core of the project is an immersive experience, a multimedia space conceived to assign an active role to visitors through the role-playing mechanism, to relive the condition of the refugee and the migrant in their migration journey. Through the use of "VR viewers" worn for the duration of the journey (the scenes will be shot in key-places of human mobility), the participant will live in the shoes of a refugee or a migrant. The experience is based on 360-degree videos, i.e. realistic immersive movies. Those who participate in the activity will be encouraged to take a virtual trip and, once completed this travel, to communicate the feedback of the experience. Each session will be followed by a laboratory aimed at analysing and reworking the lived experience with the support of a psychologist expert in intercultural relations, a migrant or refugee who tells his own experience and a migration expert.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Bridges over the borders involves Italy, France and South Africa. These three countries are partners thanks to the network of Scalabrinian Congregation (promoter of the project) and a dangerous and growing spread of racism and xenophobia, conflict between natives and migrants and between different ethnic groups that coexist on national territories.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

Wants to involve young citizens in an educational and training experience. It is aimed at deepening the knowledge of the migratory phenomenon empathy. The VR viewers, app and 360 ° video tools bring the final user inside the action and gives her / him the possibility of identifying with the migratory journey. Empathy placing at the base intersubjectivity is a prerequisite for the deconstruction stereotypes and closures that fuel discriminations.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

Adolescence and the transition to adulthood are fundamental periods for our development: a large part of time is spent in education. The education we receive and the form our perception of the world, the way we interact with others and determine our well-being. Discrimination, specially against young people in school, can have a significant long-term impact on health and well-being for future prospects, for levels of poverty and social exclusion. The project wants to: we are human regardless of our race, our ethnic origin or any other difference; promote the respect of differences. Governments must recommit to the principle that all persons, including migrants and refugees, have the right to be treated equally and fairly. It's necessary catch in diversity, not a threat, but rather an enrichment. The project would start this positive change from the young people.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

After the immersive experience the students will be involved in group workshops to compare the ideas and emotions that emerged during the immersive virtual experience and will be stimulated to think about the stereotypes that generate discrimination. In three countries participating in the project, schools, universities, teachers and students will be involved. Furthermore, an awareness and dissemination campaign will be launched with journalists, social media, policy makers and all interested stakeholders, the awareness campaign will be disseminated not only in the three countries participating in the project, but should have a global level impact .

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

Make racist and xenophobic discrimination, behaviour and action, including against non-nationals and state-less persons unacceptable and, as appropriate, illegal. Promote respect for diversity and multicultural interaction. Encourage young people politically committed, to became community and cultural leaders speak out to promote respect for all, to condemn manifestations of racism and xenophobia. Encourage communications media to emphasize positive images of diversity and of migration to eliminate negative stereotyping. Incorporate multi-cultural and diversity training in educational curricula. Mobilize, through young people and educational sistem, civil society cooperation in promotion, implementation and monitoring of anti-discrimination standards.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

In the 3 partner countries of the project (Italy, France and South Africa) at least 30 schools/universities for country, reaching at least 3000 students in total. The project includes the following activities: making 6 360° videos and 1 app, necessary for viewing with VR viewers (90 total). Realization of a 30 cognitive laboratories of empathic experience lived in virtual reality. Dissemination and awareness campaign entails actions to make the project, its activities & outputs visible, increasing the level of information, understanding and awareness of stakeholders and the public, thus strengthening support to the project’s goals. In each country will be involved 30 policy makers, and at least 300 journalists to give broad prominence to the project. One competition for schools will be held, through the support of online tools and platforms to reach the definition a youth charter against xenophobia and discrimination based on ethnicity, race, religions and cultures.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

CSER works with policy-makers on international, regional, national and local levels; scholars and researchers; faith-based groups; non-governmental and community-based organizations; and other civil society groups. Our network enjoys consultative status at the United Nations, and regularly participates and intervenes in UN processes.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

In Paris and Cape Town we will work directly on the project. The CIEMI (Paris) is an association whose purpose to raise awareness, through documentation, information, publication and training, to international migration as a factor of transformation and recomposition, also also conducting campaigns for the recognition of immigrants, their integration and the fight against discrimination. Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa (SIHMA) in Cape Town conducts research that contributes to the development of informed policies and promotions of rights and dignity of migrants and refugees in Africa. The project will also involve the Ministry of Social and Labor Policy in Italy, the Ministry of Public Education in Italy, the Italian policy makers, French policy makers and stakeholders and government representatives in South Africa.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Technology-enabled: Existing approach is more effective or scalable with the addition of technology

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Prototype: We have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Group or Organization Name

Fondazione Centro Studi Emigrazione - Via Dandolo, 58, – Rome; Tel. + / Fax + / E-mail:; PEC:

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

The Center for Migration Studies of Rome (CSER) is a think tank and an educational institute devoted to the study of international migration, to the promotion of understanding between immigrants and receiving communities, and to public policies that safeguard the dignity and rights of migrants, refugees and newcomers. CSER was established in 1964 by the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles, Scalabrinians, a community of Catholic priests, nuns and lay people dedicated to serving migrants and refugees throughout the world. CSER is a member of the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN), a global network of migrant shelters, service centers and other institutions along migrant corridors and in border and destination communities, and the Scalabrini Migration Study Centers, a network of think-tanks on international migration and refugee protection.

Website URL:

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State



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Photo of Udoka Inwang

Amazing work Cser Cser 

Photo of Cser Cser

thanks so much!

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