The European Union is the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid, and EU-funded projects contribute to saving and improving the lives of people affected by crises by providing them with basic needs, education and protection. Through its Civil Protection Mechanism, the EU also helps coordinate response to disasters in Europe and worldwide.
The campaign #EUSavesLives sought to raise awareness of both the EU's response to natural or man-made disasters, and the importance of humanitarian aid and civil protection based on the principle of solidarity,
Launched on 6th of April 2018 in Vilnius, Lithuania, the #EUSavesLives campaign consisted of a virtual reality roadshow which toured several countries between April and July 2018. The roadshow stopped in Bucharest, Berlin, Rome, Marseille, before ending in Madrid. Each stop lasted for 10 days, allowing visitors to experience EU emergency response in immersive virtual reality.
Visitors had the opportunity to choose from three virtual reality experiences based on EU emergency response in Europe and beyond. The first experience threw participants into the midst of the Rohingya crisis where they could step inside a refugee camp in Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh to learn about the refugees' lives and the work of EU-funded projects.
In the second experience, participants visited an earthquake simulation during a civil protection exercise in Denmark. Visitors experienced first-hand how civil protection experts from different European countries prepare for emergency action.
Finally, participants were able to sit inside the cockpit of a water bomber flying over a massive forest fire in Italy. Participants were placed at the heart of an EU-coordinated response in an attempt to limit the damage ravaged by the fire.
Through its participatory elements, #EUSavesLives aimed to bring the EU closer to its citizens and showcased how the EU makes a positive contribution to the everyday life of European citizens and those in need worldwide.
Watch highlights of the travelling roadshow: