Vodafone has redoubled its efforts to help those affected by the Ukraine crisis with a new package of measures.
In addition to making all calls and texts to and from Ukraine free of charge for UK customers, the company has partnered with the British Red Cross, and will match-fund donations to the Disasters Emergency committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal that are made through the charity.
People can donate any amount via this tracked link, or £10 by texting VODAFONE to 70141. Every donation will be automatically match funded up to £250,000 and 100% of donations will go to the appeal. Texts cost £10 plus one standard message (UK numbers only). The British Red Cross will receive 100%.
Vodafone will also offer free connectivity to 200,000 refugees arriving in the UK from Ukraine as part of the company’s charities.connected initiative, and is launching Tech Appeal for refugees with a donation of 3,000 smartphones (connectivity included) and 1,000 portable power banks, together worth more than £1m.
The UK’s raft of measures complements those from other Vodafone operating companies in Europe, particularly those bordering Ukraine, such as Romania and Hungary.
For example, Vodafone Romania has been distributing thousands of SIMs loaded with free calls, texts and data to refugees at border crossings and in refugee camps.
And Vodafone Hungary and Vodafone Romania have deployed emergency mobile networks, known as ‘Cells on Wheels’, to ensure refugees have connectivity at key border crossings. Other European operating companies are standing by with instant network equipment should it be needed, with volunteers ready to help install them.
Vodafone Germany will provide up to 1,000 GigaCubes to refugee homes. These portable routers share a single mobile data connection with multiple devices over WiFi. And Vodafone Czech Republic has been donating free SIMs to refugees and has launched an appeal for old phones to be donated to Vodafone retail stores in the country.
On top of the provision of connectivity, Vodafone’s European operating companies and charitable Foundations have been making donations, both cash and in kind, to help with the disaster relief effort.
For example, Vodafone Group Foundation has contributed €500,000 to UNHCR, the United Nations’ Refugee Agency (anyone wanting to donate directly to the UNHCR fund can do so here). And Vodafone Albania has been organising employee donations of food, toiletries and household items to be delivered to the Ukrainian embassy in Tirana.
UK charities involved in the Ukraine relief effort can also apply for free SIMs through Vodafone’s charities.connected programme here.