B.E.S.T. : Promoting Best Practices to prevent Racism and Xenophobia toward Forced Migrants through Community Building is a European project that builds on JRS national offices' previous community-building experiences. Over the past four years JRS and its partners have developed new programmes involving local communities through which a significant number of participants have overcome migrants’ stereotypes and prejudices. The national programmes have focused on different target groups: families, university students, school pupils, elderly people, parishioners or neighbours and have designed very different ways to put people in contact: accommodation services, sports activities, recreational activities, education programmes. All the partners agree that these diverse experiences are a suitable platform to identify best practices to combat racism and intolerance.

The project is conceived as a pilot project that aims to use the experience of JRS partners on community building programmes to create a European network of a large number of organizations which have developed programmes involving local communities to provide services or support to vulnerable migrants. The common element of these projects is that they bring locals together with migrant communities and help the general public to overcome prejudices, as well as migrants to recover their dignity.

Therefore as part of this project, at national level, JRS Europe and the national partners, which include JRS Malta, will identify other national initiatives involving community building in order to involve them in the project. JRS is planning to organise national awards to promote participation and select the national best practices. In parallel national partners with the support of the national networks will use the personal stories and experience of the people to speak out against racism and xenophobia. The national workshops will be the tool to exchange experiences, best practices and a space for reflection and advocacy. Communication channels and tools will aslo be used to publicize testimonies, stories or messages and give large public visibility to the communities as a practical means to counter racism and xenophobia against the forcibly displaced migrants.

Secondly, at European level, JRS Europe will define guidelines to identify best practices. These guidelines will help national partners to identify best practices in a consistent and coherent way. A best practices manual on how community-building experiences help to fight against racism and xenophobia will also be published. In addition JRS Europe will also train the partners to develop communications strategies to use the national materials to disseminate the project results through videos and pictures as well as written material. JRS aims to train the partners to coordinate advocacy efforts to address politicians to support community-building policies in a multi-level partnership.

Visit the project website on: www.igetyou-jrs.org

This project is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union.


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