HomeAccessVodafone appeals for pre-loved devices in technology for refugees scheme

    Vodafone appeals for pre-loved devices in technology for refugees scheme


    Brilliant to see telcos support our work says Refugee Council

    The Vodafone Foundation has responded to the refuge crisis caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine by installing instant wi-fi and charging points in refugee centres in Romania and Hungary. Its Instant Networks Teams are having an immediate impact by helping people stay in touch with family and friends.

    “We are working hard to prepare for the arrival of refugees from Ukraine and it’s brilliant to see companies like Vodafone supporting us,” said Tamsin Baxter, the Refugee Council’s executive director of fund raising and external affairs.

    Now Vodafone has announced a new, longer-term plan to collect and distribute smartphones, devices and connectivity to all refugees, including those fleeing Ukraine. Vodafone has donated 3,000 smartphones, connections and 1,000 portable chargers to a new programme run along with The Refugee Council. Now it is extending its collection and distribution network to any citizen or corporations to find a new home for their pre-loved machines in its latest Tech Appeal.

    This follows Vodafone’s recent announcement that it is offering free connectivity to 200,000 refugees arriving in the UK from Ukraine through its everyone connected programme. 

    The Refugee Council is working with refugees and those seeking asylum in the UK. It provides resettlement and integration services, such as help with securing accommodation, finding English lessons, registering for a GP or opening a bank account. It also provides therapy to help address the trauma and mental health issues facing adults and children as they arrive in the UK as refugees.

    “We are doing what we can to support those fleeing Ukraine with a focus on keeping people connected,” said Vodafone CEO Ahmed Essam, “free smartphones, tablets and connectivity will help people access vital support services and stay in touch with friends and family. We hope this will help make arriving in the UK a little easier. I urge anyone with an unwanted smartphone or tablet to donate it to our Tech Appeal so we can get it to someone who needs it.” 

    When you have lost so much, connectivity to those you love is invaluable and these phones could make the difference between speaking to a loved one that’s been left behind, said Baxter at The Refugee Council, “That is absolutely a lifeline.”

    Vodafone is offering customers free mobile calls and texts to Ukraine, waiving charges for customers within the country and is match-funding donations to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal through the British Red Cross. It is also offering fast track access to employment opportunities to suitably qualified candidates from Ukraine subject to visa requirements.