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Vodafone Volunteers

Deploying our people and technology to support areas affected by natural or humanitarian disaster.

Powered by volunteers:
Instant Network
Emergency Response

Responded to emergencies in 14 countries

22 missions in
7 years

55 active volunteers
from 19 countries

Millions of calls provided to disaster victims, aid workers and refugees

The issue

Communication in the immediate aftermath of a disaster is key both to support those affected and to assist in the assessment of damage and the coordination of rescue and relief efforts.

Our aim

Through the award-winning Instant Network programme, Vodafone Foundation deploys employee volunteers and communications technologies in emergencies to restore and provide free, vital communications and technical support to aid agencies, victims and refugees in remote areas.

Vodafone Foundation's Instant Network team is also committed to developing new technologies to best support the humanitarian community.

Meet our volunteers

There are 70 trained Vodafone employees who make up the Instant Network team. These volunteers remain on standby ready to deploy in response to natural or humanitarian disasters. All volunteers who deploy to the field complete Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) to ensure they are prepared to deploy in difficult circumstances.

120+ volunteers have been trained since the programme started

Volunteers trained

#VolunteerVoices

‘Volunteering for Vodafone Foundation’s Instant Network will change your life and put things in perspective.’

Jeroen Aanraad

#VolunteerVoices

‘Volunteering for Vodafone Foundation is the best thing I’ve ever done.’

James D’Rozario

#VolunteerVoices

‘Instant Network Schools allow students and teachers to reach out to the world beyond the refugee camp.’

Kelly-Tenille Mathurin

#VolunteerVoices

‘Considering volunteering for Vodafone Foundation’s Instant Network? Absolutely go for it. It is an amazing opportunity to use your skills to bring technology to other parts of the world in times of need.’

Chris Trundley

Vodafone Instant Network is an ultra - portable GSM network that packs into 4 cases weighing a total of less than 100kg.

The cases are transportable on commercial flights and allow emergency response partners such as Télécoms sans Frontières to respond immediately to any disaster, travelling with emergency communications equipment. Once on location a network can be established in less than 40 minutes.

The Instant Network provides 2G and 3G connectivity, has inbuilt wireless capability and secure connectivity via firewall and VPN. And can be deployed anywhere in the world, in any scenario.

Instant Network Mini is an 11 kilogram mobile network in a backpack that can be deployed in just 10 minutes, enabling aid workers to swiftly carry out life-saving work in disasters.

The robust backpack that can be taken as hand luggage on commercial flights and deployed by non-technical staff, Instant Network Mini can provide up to five concurrent calls within a radius of 100 metres and enable text messages to be sent to thousands of people to provide crucial information following a disaster.

The Instant Network Mini was developed with Vodafone Spain and partners Huawei and Télécoms sans Frontières and provides a secure 2G GSM network. The GSM base transceiver station connects to a host network over a satellite connection. The equipment is particularly suited to providing a GSM mobile network in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and for delivering mobile money solutions to inaccessible areas. It has been designed to provide both voice and SMS communications to a small humanitarian field office in disaster areas.

Instant Charge was initially developed to support UNHCR and refugees arriving on the shores of Europe.

Unlike many refugee situations in other parts of the world, most refugee families arriving in Europe have smart phones - rather than feature phones- therefore involving an increasing need for access to power. Vodafone Foundation Instant Charge is a single box that, combined with a generator or another power source, has the capabilities to charge up to 66 phonessimultaneously.

The solution has been designed in 4 different modules created to prevent overcrowding in emergency environments, a large problem with very dense charging solutions and a potential source of a flashpoint in tense situations. It has also been designed to be used outdoor and with limited man intervention. The system supplies 3 x 20 port USB charging complete with 70cm cables so users do not require chargers or cables to recharge their handsets. In addition, there is a single 6 output extension cable, capable of charging a further 6 phones or other devices. The system can use any combination of 1 to all 4 modules simultaneously depending on need.