Vodafone is inviting consumers and businesses to donate their unwanted technology to people affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, building on its previous commitments to support refugees.
The Newbury-based operator has donated 3,000 smartphones and SIM cards and 1,000 portable chargers to charity Refugee Crisis and has extended its ‘Tech Appeal’ so the British public can get involved.
Refugee Crisis provides support and therapy to more than 14,000 displaced men, women and children each year and says mobile technology is crucial for helping refugees adapt to a difficult situation and keep in touch with friends and family.
We are working hard to prepare for the arrival of refugees from Ukraine and are ready to help them recover and rebuild their lives after the trauma they’ve faced. It’s brilliant to see companies like Vodafone supporting our work,” said Tamsin Baxter, Executive Director of Fundraising and External Affairs, Refugee Council.
“When you have lost so much, connectivity to those you love is invaluable; these phones could make the difference between speaking to a husband, children or parents who have been left behind, or not. That is absolutely a lifeline.”
Meanwhile, Sky Mobile has pledged to donate £100,000 to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to support its efforts in Ukraine. Customers can donate their spare data into in an additional contribution, with 25GB amounting to £10.
Laptops can be donated in store, as can smartphones and tablets which can also be sent through the post with a pre-paid envelope.
Vodafone already offers free calls to Ukraine and has waived any roaming charges for customers in the country and has also deployed its instant network teams in Hungary and Romania, providing Wi-Fi connectivity to people in refugee centres. Other mobile operators have employed similar measures.