I get you

Promoting best practices to prevent racism and xenophobia towards forced migrants through community building

I Get You has its roots in Jesuit Refugee Service’s experience of accompanying refugees all over the world. We believe that bringing people together is the best way to build mutual understanding.

For two years, JRS Europe and its partners in nine countries conducted an in-depth mixed methods research project, with an accompanying public awareness campaign, on the work being done by local societies in welcoming and including forced migrants and refugees. Stemming from our own experience, we looked at 351 Community Building Initiatives (CBIs), and how they encouraged encounters and designed innovative ways to promote social inclusion thereby countering racism and xenophobia in society.

In welcoming migrants in local communities, I Get You saw that small-scale initiatives that keep the involvement of people at the centre of activities work best. CBIs do not only change people’s perspectives of one another, but they change the ways that citizens and administrations interact. A future challenge lies in finding and maintaining a balance between governments’ and citizens’ engagement.

I Get You developed a series of Guidelines for Best Practices to be used by Community Building Initiatives as well as a series of Policy Recommendations for local, national and European level.

Experiences are shared. Differences are celebrated. People understand each other.