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Refugee Friendly, integration through leisure, culture and friendship

We create and enhance social integration for refugees through leisure, culture and friendship.

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

Once refugees are settled in the host city and have their basic needs met, they encounter barriers to their integration into society. Their relationships are generally limited to social workers from host NGOs, refugees in similar situations and communities of similar origin. This does not help them to develop a full social insertion and a greater knowledge of the culture, territory and network of contacts. All these aspects are crucial when it comes to making progress in their host city.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

We are focused in Barcelona capital area.

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)

Inviting local people and refugees to share and enjoy cultural events together, horizontal social connections are generated that allow to eliminate bad and false stereotypes, helpful links and very valuable recommendations for the development of their life in new territory. Adding to the events a program of regular activities with a weekly frequency (salsa, soccer and yoga) and a fortnightly social gathering; we provide the generated community with a tool to leverage their new relations.

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

On the one hand it generates culture access for refugees. This brings oportunities to discover unknown fields and disciplines and also bring closer to traditions of the new place. The right of leisure is promoted, bringing moments of enjoy and pleasure to refresh their my and face their goals in a better way. Horizontal links are also generated between established local people and refugees who provide a network of contact and containment to facilitate the personal and professional development of the refugee and reduce the barriers of an unknown city. At the same time local people know refugees, their stories and their resilience. It is a shock of reality that encourages them in their own lives while eliminating bad and false stereotypes.

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

The main change will be that the refugees will have local friends. This will positively influence: - Knowledge about new disciplines of interest or variants on those they already known from origin. - Approach to the culture and dynamics of the host society - Easy access to information about their social and employment interests. - Human support to help them facing adverse situations for the challenges they met. Refugee Friendly is a proposal that is already underway and we are surrounded by examples that confirm these results.

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

Given the current structures dealing with what might be considered the basic needs, we are confident that friendship between locals and refugees is the great gateway for them to fully develop their lives and meet their subsequent needs (social, self-esteem and self-fulfilment). Anyone who has arrived in an unknown place by moving or travelling knows that a friend is the best thing one can have in a new territory and that is our greatest desire, to generate friendships.

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

Refugees: lack of social connections with the host society. Their main relationships are often limited to the social workers of the host NGO, other refugees and communities of similar origin or language. They remain this way without a real integration and with barriers for their social and labour development. Locals: with a latent need to contribute to social causes in which they feel committed, find in Refugee Friendly a way to contribute with fractions of their free time at the same time that they obtain benefits for the access to the culture of their city. Events Producers: Aware and sensitized by the cause of refugees, they find the participation proposal offered by Refugee Friendly easy to implement and at little or no cost.

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

The contact network generated by the refugee and the atmosphere of appreciation and encouragement they receive in the meetings encourages them to learn new areas of professional and social development that gives them a wider vision and opportunities to find a training, a job or a place to live.

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

Refugee Friendly partners come from different backgrounds: Social: they help us to spread the proposal among their users (refugees) who can find great benefits participating. Cultural Events: provide access to their events while demonstrating their commitment to the community through the communication of the REFUGEE FRIENDLY SEAL. Education: interested in offering their students fresh and actual information on the social entrepreneurial panorama, we make collaborations that empower us all: educational establishments, students and Refugee Friendly itself.

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

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Majority Adoption: We have expanded the pilot significantly and the program product or service has been adopted by the majority of our intended user base (i.e. 50% to 83% of the target population or 50,000 to 1,000,000 users).

Group or Organization Name

Refugee Friendly

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

Refugee Friendly has a year of life implementing and developing the proposal together with NGOs of high importance in the territory of action, with the objective of a constant improvement of the proposal offered to each partner and participant. Its directors are marketing and communication professionals with knowledge of entrepreneurship and extensive creative and management skills.

Website URL:

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State



Join the conversation:

Photo of Uchenna Okafor

Hi Bruno Sraer! I appreciate this novel approach to ending social integration problem for refugees and strangers. Sure; without deep social connect, there can never be empathy and support to them. Your recommendation can actually bring people together by laying bridges of friendship and cohesion among them. Yes; friends with deep knowledge of each others history, story, circumstances, and potentials may go extra mile to protect each other, instead of fighting one another. I hope that disabled persons will be adequately accommodated in this design. Many people do not understand the resilience and abilities in disability. As such, relegate disabled persons to life of nothingness and hopelessness.

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