In response to the refugee crisis in Europe, Germany welcomed more than 1 million asylum seekers in 2015. With the deployment of an Ideas Box in Düsseldorf, Libraries Without Borders (BSF) helped provide resources to support the local effort of adaptation and integration of the new-coming populations.

Our Actions

For a better integration of refugees at Düsseldorf

With more than one million refugees from the Syrian crisis in 2015 and 2016, Germany was a role model in the European Union. The German authorities supported the associations that welcomed and help  integrate refugees socially,  for their optimal reception. Düsseldorf, the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, received more than one in five of these new arrivals in Germany.

As a place for the refugee community and the residents of Düsseldorf to meet, an Ideas Box was installed in 2016 and allowed for the implementation of recreational and creative activities to facilitate the professional, educational, and social assimilation  of the refugees. 

In particular, the Ideas Box enabled a discussion between high school students and refugees about stereotypes, resulting in the creation of giant collective graffiti. In addition, the cameras and photo editing software of the Ideas Box were used in the photo project “Ankommen und Leben in Düsseldorf” (Arrive and Live in Düsseldorf), where refugees presented their view of Düsseldorf, showing how integration is both a social and personal process.

What we do

IdeasBox Training in Dusseldorf


The Ideas Box also created a dialogue between students and refugees concerning stereotypes and prejudices.  This ultimately led to the development of a giant graffiti using the photo editing devices and software from the Ideas Box.  The graffiti showed how refugees viewed Dusseldorf, thus publicly demonstrating that the integration process had been both collective and personal !