At the end of 2018, we began a journey working with The One Foundation Ireland. The goal? Build a creative platform and campaign to inspire people to do more to welcome refugees in Ireland.
There were many reasons why we believe this work was (and is) a worthwhile focus:
- We’re in the midst of one of the worst refugee crises the world has ever seen. There were at least 79.5 million people around the world who were forced to flee their homes (at the end of 2019).
- We see both inaction & right-wing / anti refugee rhetoric as a threat to human rights.
- Ireland is slow at meeting its commitments to refugee resettlement figures.
- As individuals and as a collective society (government/organisations), we can always do more.
- Life as we all know it can change in a day...
THE IRISH CONTEXT
In December of 2019 the Irish Government committed to a new refugee programme, agreeing with the UNHCR & EU to provide sanctuary to 2,900 people fleeing persecution over the next 4 years. As Covid-19 continues to challenge the globe, this commitment requires renewed focus and dedication.
As a people, the Irish can empathise deeply. No strangers to persecution, 170 years ago, we left this country in our millions, refugees from a devastating famine. These Irish refugees found new homes around the world. We contributed massively to the countries that took us in. Now, we have an opportunity to welcome others who are in need and offer them the same opportunity.
PHASE ONE: GETTING THE STRATEGY RIGHT
Our initial process involved The Youth Lab undertaking research to gain insight on current behaviours and attitudes around refugees in Ireland, to inform our strategic approach to the marketing campaign. In addition to desk research & media monitoring, we spoke to key experts in The One Foundation team, The UNHCR in Ireland, The Immigrant Council, Migrant Rights Centre, Immigrant youth aged 16-35, Irish youth aged 16-35.
THE RESEARCH: WHAT WE FOUND
What the stats said: this is a global human rights issue that we are both empathetic and sceptical about in Ireland. Irish people’s welcoming nature is hindered by a sense of personal disconnect with the issue and a concern for other challenges that seem more immediate/local.
The expert perspective: Unconscious bias and inaction around refugee issues is reinforced with no proper education, integration or racism plans on a national level. The emergency response to the crisis has been too slow, and meanwhile, dangerous ideas are spreading.
The Irish youth perspective: We hear about refugees when there are big dramatic news stories, but there are other local and global problems (like climate change) that feel closer in proximity.
The youth immigrant / refugee perspective (Ireland): We all have a unique story. Ireland is a great home. Generally, it feels safe. However, getting here and living here is not without its challenges.
How do we inspire people to do more? Big problems can lead to overwhelming feelings and paralysis. Behavioural change has to come from something that is meaningful to the person involved. Therefore, the issue must feel personal - not foreign.
OUR CREATIVE COMMUNICATIONS CHALLENGE
INSIGHT: It’s impossible to act on an issue that feels ‘foreign.’
IMPLICATION: Create a shared understanding around refugee issues.
IMPLEMENTATION: How can we make ‘foreigners’ feel local to young Irish people, no matter who they are, where they are or where they are from, in a way that inspires youth to act in their name?
OUR CREATIVE SOLUTION: ONE DAY
The THINKHOUSE creative studio’s answered the challenge by creating the ‘ONE DAY’ platform. It came from the idea that one day anything could happen to any one of us, while at the same time we all have the agency to impact someone’s else's day, on any given day. It is rooted in empathy for others and also in the real experiences of refugees.
ONE DAY can be used as a call to action and also a storytelling device… ONE DAY your home could be rendered unsafe. ONE DAY you could find yourself somewhere new. ONE DAY a decision could change your life. In ONE DAY everything can change. Take ONE DAY to come together...
“ONE DAY reminds us all to have the drive and courage to make things better. Our actions on ONE DAY can make all the difference.” David Coffey, Creative Director, THINKHOUSE
ONE DAY is an awareness campaign which calls on the people of Ireland to deepen their knowledge and empathy for refugees and take action to help. Because life as we all know it can change in a day.
ONE DAY is about helping refugees.
ONE DAY is about welcoming refugees.
ONE DAY is about Ireland and refugees.
HOW ONE DAY COMES TO LIFE
As young people make up half of those seeking refuge around the globe, ONE DAY particularly appeals to young people to support.
ONE DAY aims to drive education among younger cohorts of the Irish population as well as supporting action. The goal of ONE DAY is to help people understand the modern global refugee crisis and cultivate a welcoming sentiment for refugees by highlighting the reality of displacement. The platform is dedicated to sharing people's stories and advocating for refugees to be warmly welcomed into this country.
We developed the ONE DAY identity, branding, website, photography and social media assets (film & stills) with the aim of making it feel fresh and modern and to stand out as something different to more traditional charity initiatives.
Creative outputs included:
- One Day identity (created to reflect changes and movement)
- One Day colourways (chosen to reflect a softer and more approachable brand/campaign)
- Website design & build (human-first ‘local’ visuals via photography)
- Social media branding
- Social media assets
- Film & Photography
ONE DAY AMBASSADORS
We recruited three incredible young voices to support the campaign - sharing their own stories and their passion for advocating for refugees.
- Semaco "Zak" Moradi is an Iraqi-born Irish hurler who plays as a left corner-forward for the Leitrim senior team. Born in Ramadi, Iraq, Moradi and his family relocated to Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland in 2002.
- He was born in the Democratic republic of congo, but Lido Lotefa has undeniably made Ireland his home, becoming a professional footballer for Ireland's most successful team, Dundalk. Lido is the epitomisation of adapting to surroundings and is a sterling success story for refugees in Ireland.
- Farah Elle is a songwriter with an alternative pop sound influenced by an eclectic taste of genres; from hiphop to R&B and ska, while featuring Arabian echoes from her Libyan background. She is currently based in Dublin, having moved to Ireland with her family when she was 2. She is not a refugee - but is a passionate advocate for refugee rights and issues, supporting them through her unique, bilingual, creative voice.
LAUNCHING ONE DAY
The ONE DAY platform and social media campaign launched in the midst of one of the worst refugee crises the world has ever seen - further enhanced with the challenges brought with the Covid-19 pandemic.
We released and promoted our ambassadors stories on social media for World Refugee Day 2020, where we gained a total of 1.2 million impressions and a reach of over half a million. We continued the campaign in December 2020 (1 year on from the announcement of the Irish government’s refugee commitment).
Fiona Finn, CEO of Nasc spoke about the significance of the project: “Research started for One Day back at the end of 2018 with multiple expert partners. It looked into the challenges facing Ireland in the context of refugee resettlement and ways that the young people of Ireland could drive momentum behind the support and relocation of refugees in Ireland. The team behind One Day recognised early on that the youth vision of modern Ireland is one that is radically inclusive and accepting - a progressive leader when it comes to social justice and supporting those who need it. They want to see Ireland deliver on this vision. It’s been amazing to see organisations across
the sector input into ONE DAY, reinforcing the importance and need to drive connected local support for this global crisis.”
Lido Lotefa, One Day Ambassador, Dundalk footballer and refugee commented: “One Day is important because it gives young people like me an opportunity to dream. I want to inspire those who have come from a difficult background and tough upbringing to let their stars shine. It should matter to you because it’s our job, as individuals in better situations, to help others realise their talents and use them to the best of their abilities.”
THE CALL TO ACTION & WHAT NEXT?
On social media @onedayireland we encourage people to watch and share our ambassadors stories, and to go to our website for more.
On the ONE DAY website we provide a list of groups in Ireland whose stellar work can be supported - Nasc, EDUSEED, UNICEF Ireland, UNHCR Ireland, Children’s Rights Alliance.
Following the launch of ONE DAY and various other global movements, we see relevance, concern and action building - especially among younger generations in Ireland today. The effort to support refugees in Ireland continues. In January 2021 we even saw one of our Ambassadors, Zak Moradi, sharing his story more widely via RTÉ’s The Tommy Tiernan Show.
#OneDayIreland #CeadMileFailte #GiveRefuge