OUR COVID STORY CAMPAIGN

Collecting stories from the network – user generated content (UGC)

Through #OurCovidStory campaign we wanted to connect and unite the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network responding to COVID-19 pandemic, to explore how the novel Coronavirus was rapidly changing our ways of working and to build on the momentum on the global collaboration and transformation within the Red Cross Red Crescent.

We designed a list of question and shared them with volunteers on social media or directly through National Societies. Within weeks, we collected hundreds of testimonials, stories, and messages. These stories not only gave us great insights on how the pandemic was shaping the way the entire Movement is working, but also helped us to provide space to learn, share, inspire and explore how we can support each other in tackling this global crisis.

The questions we asked from the volunteers:
  • What have you learned from the Coronavirus Outbreak?
  • In the context of Coronavirus, what have you done that makes you proud?
  • As a volunteer, what is the main challenge during this Covid-19 outbreak?
  • What have you seen for the first time because of Coronavirus?
  • Can you tell us how hope can rise from Coronavirus response?

 

To reach out to our volunteers and call for stories, we developed various materials such as static and animated banners in both English and French, and shared these through our social media and digital channels.

Example of our social media posts:

Hi all, We would love to hear stories from volunteers about their experiences of volunteering in the Covid- 19 Response. Not just the activities, but what has it been like responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.
You can put your stories here or you can email them to [email protected]
Your stories can help others learn and be inspired, here are some questions you could consider when writing your short stories
  • What have you learned from the Coronavirus Outbreak?
  • In the context of Coronavirus, what have you done that makes you proud?
  • As a volunteer, what is the main challenge during this Covid-19 outbreak?
  • What have you seen for the first time because of Coronavirus?
  • Can you tell us how hope can rise from Coronavirus response?

…and the volunteers answered to our call.

Within weeks, we received hundreds of stories and testimonies from Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff responding to the Coronavirus all over the globe.

Once the stories were collected on our website, the next step was to read, translate and organise them. In this, the help we got from Northumbria University and British Red Cross was invaluable.

Collecting and sharing the stories on our website generated a lot of traffic in itself. Being able to collect and publish stories in real time on the website created a solid and recurring audience for the Solferino Academy site.

  • +5,000 views for the #OurCovidStory page
  • Almost 200 stories from volunteers and staff
  • 50,000 website views in just over 4 months

#OurCovidStory page was by far our most popular page, and still is among the most popular ones.

From the beginning our goal was not just to collect, but to share these stories like they had been shared with us. We wanted to both celebrate diversity and highlight the individual experiences of each story, but also to showcase similarities and explore what tied together the hundreds people of responding from around the world.

To do the first, we extracted and showcased short quotes from individual stories. For the latter, we mapped all the stories geographically, reflecting on the variety of contexts in which this crisis occurred but also showcasing the global nature of both the crisis and our response.

Draw me the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement

“Drawing is the integrity of art.” Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

When the lockdowns and other pandemic prevention measures started to transform our work and lives, we re-discovered that to communicate clearly about our Coronavirus response we need images – and images we did not have. It became clear that going back to basics was the way forward, so we responded to the lack of images through a 37,000 years old innovation: drawing.

With irreplaceable help from Designit, we started to illustrate our Covid stories and articles and also to cover our virtual think tanks through graphic recordings.

Volunteers make the world go around

Through an interactive map, we shared the heartwarming and heartbreaking #OurCovidStories from our volunteers tackling Coronavirus around the world. 

Mapping COVID volunteers’ experience and insights

Volunteers and their stories during every emergency inspire us. Connecting a global RCRC volunteer and humanitarian network across the covid-19 response was a core goal of Solferino Academy. We are piloting a map to help you explore volunteer stories from the past months.

ADD YOUR STORY  BROWSE THE MAP

Innovation and transformation in real time

Not only did we want to share what we’ve learned, but we also wanted to give back by providing places and opportunities for global collaboration and the thinking/doing transformation shaking the whole Movement – and the humanitarian world.

Some of these ideas and initiatives took simple forms as guidelines, articles and think pieces, while others were shaped into think tanks and various virtual conversations. No matter the form, our goal was to connect and unite RCRC leaders, staff and volunteers in fighting the pandemic, transforming the ways we work and to better anticipate and prepare for what comes next. 

Capacity building tools

How to use zoom during a multi-language conference

Guidelines in English and French on how to use Zoom during large meetings

How to stream your videoconference with a photo camera

Guidelines in English and French on how to use Zoom during large meetings

The COVID-19 pandemic sparked numerous conversations, initiatives and innovations, and we wanted to keep those conversation going. To showcase the best health-related innovations across the RCRC network and to learn from each other, we published 6 stories of Innovation in health in the COVID response with high-quality content gathered and written by our own experts. These pieces were accompanied by illustrations from DesignIt’s artists. 

When artists document your virtual meeting, the meaningful remains

Examples of graphic recordings (in three languages)

Connecting globally through virtual Think Tanks 

Some 3,000 staff and volunteers from over 100 National Societies joined our virtual Think Tanks. These Think Tanks provided a unique opportunity to convene a global cross-section of volunteers and staff across the Red Cross Red Crescent network. In these often quite intense virtual conversations we’ve been sharing experiences and exploring innovations, insights and ways too be more fit for future - all this during a fast-paced Covid-19 emergency response.

From our high-level Think Tanks aimed specifically to Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders, we've also been able to share the insights with the IFRC Governing Board to impact decisions on COVID-19 and Strategy 2030. 

A brand new brand

This campaign has also been an opportunity to rebrand and shape the Solferino Academy's visual identity with the help of Designit. Designit's talented team did not just help us build our new website, create our new beautiful logotype and full brand guidelines with us but was also involved in our activities. Together we were able to reshape Solferino Academy's brand while working on one of our biggest campaign, in the middle of a pandemic, making this a textbook example of a creative and innovative collaboration.

Discover our external partners

Open Lab, Newcastle University

With OpenLab, it is a long story populated with Innovations, ambitious projects, and great achievements. Among others? Projects they have worked on range from running a ‘real-time’ global strategic foresight game with the 4000+ young volunteers from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, played entirely through WhatsApp; to designing developing and delivering and fully immersive ‘pop-up’ escape room for conveying humanitarian strategy.

DesignIt

Our collaboration with DeisgnIt is relatively recent, compared to others. Nevertheless, its future is bright, as bright as the people who made our website such a nice place to be. Our logo, our brand, our style, are crafted and delivered by talented designers and developers from all around the globe.

Northumbria University, Newcastle
Changing the development volunteering debate; Volunteering, activism and civil society; organizing Summer school around topics like: Thinking of a career in International Development? Want to play a role in helping eradicate global poverty and inequality? Want to understand the attacks on aid? And the list goes on…
Monash University

With the Monash University's Faculty of Information Technology (IT) we explores how digital technologies can give citizens greater control over their lives and enhance their ability to help each other.

Working closely with researchers in the Faculty of IT, we have developed Indaba,  a supportive and collaborative storytelling video process, in over 13 real-world deployments internationally. From Indonesia to Honduras, this pioneering project has worked with over 1,100 people and has helped raise awareness of water and sanitation initiatives, expose nutrition and agricultural issues, advocate for vulnerable children and more.

Our major partner

Croce Rossa Italiana (Italian Red Cross)

Other supporters

Finnish Red Cross

Norwegian Red Cross

Kenya Red Cross

The Solferino Team

Shaun Hazeldine

Shaun Hazeldine

Head Solferino Academy

Heather Marie Leson

Heather Marie Leson

Digital transformation

Hamza Hamwie

Hamza Hamwie

Digital engagement

Lorenzo Trova

Lorenzo Trova

Officer Amministrazione e Finanza

Ramya Gopalan

Ramya Gopalan

Global Innovation Coordinator

Dirk Slater

Dirk Slater

Virtual meeting designer

George Panopoulos

George Panopoulos

Head of Strategic Foresight

Mirva Helenius

Mirva Helenius

Global Communications Lead

Ruby Haji Naif

Ruby Haji Naif

Middle East engagement

Annemarie Poorterman

Annemarie Poorterman

Head engagement and design

Yann le Floc’h

Yann le Floc’h

Design Lead

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