More than 24,000 Ukrainians have applied for residency in Denmark since Russia attacked the country, according to the Danish government, prompting a new special law for refugees fleeing the war. The demand has forced Danish authorities to prepare for more than 100,000 evacuees.
To help Denmark welcome refugees with open arms, Mediabrands Content Studio, a division of IPG Mediabrands, has printed and distributed 20,000 copies of a free Ukrainian-language children’s book called “Welcome to Denmark.”
The book, which Christian Strand, Nordic managing director of Mediabrands Content Studio in Denmark, describes as a “phrasebook done with illustrations at a children’s reading level,” is based on a Danish children’s book format called a Pixie-Book, which includes colorful illustrations and a short, simple story.
The team “wanted to do something for the refugees using our communication skills actively,” he said.
“We wanted them to feel that life in Denmark was not that different from the one they knew in Ukraine,” Strand continued. “That is a natural feeling for every refugee when you consider they left everything behind, fled their country and may not know where they will end up living.”
The team chose the Pixie-Book format because it’s easy to understand and not burdensome for refugees to carry on their journey, Strand said.
The 20,000 copies of the book that were initially already printed and distributed are just the beginning. According to strand, the agency has now doubled production to 43,000 books. “We are still sending books to public institutions and private citizens who have taken action,” Strand said.
Danish company Mediaprint, which specializes in graphic production, helped the books come together in short order. Mediabrands Content Studio’s Denmark team has also created a digital version of the book and is working with the Red Cross to produce school materials for Ukrainian children.
Books are now being handed out on trains, buses and ferries near the border between Denmark and Germany. The team was given free postage for the first 300 packages by the Danish postal service to continue the outreach through mail.
“We have spent long days and longer nights with the help of our colleagues, family and friends,” said Strand. “Our goal was making a gesture that showed these refugees we cared, and they were welcome in our country.”