BBD Perfect Storm

Unseen UK
"Ukraine Welcome Message"

Client: Unseen UK
Product: Anti-Slavery Safety Campaign
Title: Ukraine Welcome Message
Media: Text Message
Country: United Kingdom
Date Of Campaign: July 11, 2022

Background: Due to the invasion of Ukraine, it is estimated that 14 million people have been forced to flee their home - the majority of whom are women and children. The lack of infrastructure for safe relocation has meant that human traffickers have seen this an opportunity to exploit vulnerable Ukrainians into slavery, waiting to pounce as soon as they arrive. While working with anti-slavery charity, Unseen UK, we realised that getting vital information directly to Ukrainians refugees was crucial. But most importantly, we needed to reach them the very moment they arrived in the UK.

Idea: Our solution was a welcome text - just like the one we get from our Telco when we turn our phone on in a foreign country. Only this time, our welcome text explained, in English, Ukrainian and Russian, the dangers posed by human traffickers, as well as instructions on how to avoid falling prey. It then directed newcomers to an online hub with more information about how to stay safe in the UK.Making this "simple solution" was unfortunately, not so simple to implement, however. We had to get the Ukrainian Telecom providers onboard to automatically send our Welcome Text the minute a Ukrainian mobile was turned on in the UK. Through an open letter from Unseen, and a call to arms on social media, we asked everyone to message their personal Telco provider to make this happen. People immediately got behind the simple, but powerful message. We even had tweets sent from government officials like, MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith. And this social media campaign worked. With the help of Unseen, and more than 25 human rights group, we got the major Ukrainian Telcos, Vodaphone and Kyivstar onboard.

Results: Since July 11, major Ukrainian Telcos, Vodaphone and Kyivstar have been automatically sending our Welcome Text to Ukrainians as they enter the UK. And now, as a result of our Welcome Text’s effectiveness, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has asked all Telcos across Europe to send the text message to Ukrainians on their arrival.

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