everyone.connected | 04 Jul 2022

What difference has Vodafone’s free SIMs made to these Ukrainian refugees?

The Rotary Club in Dronfield, Derbyshire, welcomed Ukrainian refugee families at an event with face painting, magic, and free SIMs supplied by Vodafone's everyone.connected campaign.

Being connected is something most of us take for granted these days, but for the people of Ukraine who have been forced to leave their homes, friends and families, it’s a lifeline.

Thanks to many Brits offering up their spare rooms, Ukrainians are able to start new lives in this country. Charities are also doing their part to support them. One such – the Dronfield Rotary Club, based just south of Sheffield, Derbyshire – put on a welcome event for both the hosts and their guests to have fun and make new connections.

It is one of over 1,600 charities that have signed up to Vodafone’s charities.connected initiative, part of the company’s everyone.connected campaign. Refugees and other vulnerable people are offered free SIMs loaded with 20GB of data to help children and their families stay in touch with loved ones around the world.

Helping Ukrainian refugee kids through the power of reading

Vodafone's charities.connected free SIMs initiative is helping to connect digitally excluded people with the support of its 1,500-plus charity partners.

To many of the refugees, staying in touch with family is crucially important, but the ability to create bank accounts, find jobs and use apps such as Google Maps is also critical. So free connectivity for six months is a valuable boost for many.

One Ukrainian parent, Nataliia, told Vodafone UK News: “Nowadays it’s impossible to live without an internet connection so we are happy to have Vodafone SIM cards. It was very helpful because we were able to open a bank account and apply [for jobs] in the Jobcentre.”

Dronfield Rotary Club member Alan Hepworth told a moving story about a teenage Ukrainian boy who uses the free SIM to phone his dad every day just to make sure he’s still alive back in Ukraine.

“What a difference to make to a child!” said Alan. “And that’s Vodafone working with ourselves.”

How Vodafone's everyone.connected campaign is tackling digital exclusion

Nicki Lyons, Vodafone's UK Director of Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, explains how the company is fulfilling its mission to connect the disconnected and support vulnerable people.

Dmytro and his family told stories of tanks outside their window in Kiev and the sound of bombs at night. Luckily both Dmytro and his wife have a basic grasp of English as it was useful if you wanted to excel in your career back in Ukraine. Now those language skills are proving even more useful.

With many job applications being advertised online, Dmytro is trying his best to do his bit in society and to support his family. With the free SIMs distributed by Dronfield Rotary Club and donated by Vodafone, he is able to continue the hunt for a job.

If you are a charity who may benefit from Vodafone’s charities.connected free SIMs programme, click on the link and follow the instructions.

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