Because of the pandemic, non-governmental associations have to come up with new ways of communicating and asking for donations. And what better place than Amazon to draw attention to all the products they desperately need? French NGO L’Auberge des Migrants is innovating by hacking the ecommerce giant to raise awareness around the terrible living conditions of migrants in Calais (France) and to ask for donations.
Since 2008, L’Auberge des Migrants has been helping and supporting thousands of migrants based in Calais by collecting and distributing warm clothes, hygiene products and food.
The dismantling of the Calais Jungle in 2016 has created an even more dramatic situation for migrants trapped on the border between France and the United Kingdom.
In this already difficult context for the migrants who are gradually falling into collective oblivion, the pandemic has only made things worse. Short-term volunteers can no longer offer their help in the field because of the lockdown and the donators, also impacted by the crisis, are less willing to make donations.
In light of this alarming situation, L’Auberge des Migrants had to remind the public of their critical role supporting and helping migrants survive. How? By drawing attention directly to the website that has seen record numbers of visitors this winter: Amazon.
That’s why, the NGO decided to hijack the comment feature of the website by exposing the living conditions of the migrants and to ask for donations.
To demonstrate that a simple toothbrush, a sleeping bag or dozens of other harmless objects could make a difference, ten former migrants from the Calais Jungle, now with legal documents, have agreed to tell their stories directly in the comments of the products that were essential to them during their journey.
In total, hundreds of products now show up in a new light in the wake of these comments. And by clicking on the profiles of the users, you can discover their stories, the other objects commented they on, as well as a link to the wishlist.
L’Auberge des Migrants has created its own wishlist with all the products essential to the survival of migrants in the wild: from tents to blankets to cans. Anyone can buy in just two clicks the products deeply needed by the migrants and donate them directly to the association.
François Guennoc, President of the NGO: “The insecurity has only risen making the living conditions even more extreme. Help from NGOs towards the migrants stationed in Calais is becoming critical. Today, L’Auberge des Migrants is the number one humanitarian platform in our local area. Beyond the immediate emergency, we work tirelessly to improve the dignity of migrants through our operations.“