Vodafone Foundation sent employee volunteers to Mozambique to give survivors of Cyclone Idai communications support using Vodafone Instant Network and Instant WIFI

Vodafone employee Larisa Basica gives aid to cyclone survivors

Vodafone employee Larisa Basica gives aid to cyclone survivors

Vodafone Foundation sent two teams of trained Vodafone employee volunteers to Mozambique to give communications support for the humanitarian relief programme following Cyclone Idai. One of the volunteers Larisa Basica, from Vodafone Romania, shares her first-hand experience.

Helping aid agencies to coordinate an emergency response

Larisa and other employee volunteers from Vodafone Hungary, Portugal, Romania and the Netherlands arrived in Mozambique carrying 300kg of Vodafone equipment, including Instant Network, Instant WIFI, Instant Charge and additional satellite and communications technology.

Vodafone Foundation partnered with NGO Telecoms Sans Frontieres (TSF) to offer free calling and free mobile charging. Larisa and the other Vodafone volunteers also established a humanitarian calling operation at the school, Escola Primaria Completa Agostinho Neto, where 600 families were taking shelter. Survivors were able to call and speak to family members in other locations, using TSF satellite phones and Vodafone Foundation Instant Charge.

Sharing her experience of volunteering for the Vodafone Foundation

Larisa shares her experience of giving much-needed aid to Mozambique.

"We arrived at a primary school called Escola Primaria Completa Agostinho Neto. Inside, we found that there were 600 people sheltered with no electricity and no running water. We set up all the equipment on the sports ground behind the school, which was also devastated with iron pillars on the ground, broken glass, and collapsed rooftops," explains Larisa,

“Among the first to call was a lady with her baby who managed to call her mother. The moment her mother replied, you could see tears in her eyes pouring down her face. She kept saying, “the house is gone, the house is gone, the house is gone” and then another woman told her “tell them you are ok, tell them you are ok, forget the house, you are ok."

Giving connectivity through pioneering technology

Larisa and the rest of the team also offered connectivity services through the Vodafone Foundation’s pioneering technology, Instant Network and Instant WIFI at Beira Airport, to allow international aid agencies to coordinate the emergency response.

Vodafone's Instant Network has given life-saving assistance in over 20 global missions by connecting tens of thousands of people and enabling almost 3 million telephone calls.

Instant WIFI, the Foundation’s latest innovation in a growing portfolio of products, allows up to 500 people to access the internet within an 80-metre radius. For a larger deployment, extra access points extend the capacity and the area of coverage to 1,500 users across 10,000m2.

The Instant Network equipment also includes a portable 3G network that packs into three 32-kilogram boxes, and Instant Charge, a durable and portable outdoor mobile charger that can charge 48 devices simultaneously.

“From our Vodafone colleagues now in Mozambique we understand the communications challenges facing the relief efforts are some of the worst any of our teams have faced in the life of the programme," says Andrew Dunnett, Director of the Vodafone Foundation.

"The team is working around the clock to help provide calling and WIFI operations to support the relief effort and to allow family and friends caught up in this appalling tragedy to connect with each other."

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