Ukraine Welcome Text

BBD Perfect Storm

It is estimated that due to the illegal war on Ukraine, more than 8 million people have been forced to flee their home - the majority of which are women and children. Human traffickers have seen this as an opportunity, waiting to pounce as soon as Ukrainians arrive in their new home.

We partnered with Unseen, a UK anti-slavery charity, to understand how to help. We quickly realised that getting vital information to Ukrainians the very moment they arrived in the UK was crucial in stopping the human traffickers. But how could we guarantee this information would reach them in time? The answer? A simple text. A welcome text, just like the one everyone gets when they turn their phone on in a foreign country. But this time, it would contain the vital information that could help stop a life of slavery before it starts. A simple idea, but one with a significant technical requirement. We needed Telecoms providers to automatically send out the 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 Telco provider to make this happen. People immediately got behind the simple but powerful message. With the help of Unseen, and more than 25 human rights group, the major Ukrainian Telcos agreed. Now when Ukrainians arrive, they automatically receive is a message with critical advice and a link to a hub with all the information they need to stay safe. As a result of its effectiveness the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe has asked all Telcos across Europe to send our text message on arrival. An incredible, simple, life-changing idea that will continue to safeguard Ukrainians from a life of slavery.