Missing Children Europe

By Flo Sayers

By the time you finish reading this case (-2mins), a child will have gone missing in Europe. Missing Children Europe, a Brussels-based NGO, asked us for ideas to raise awareness of their helpline and influence European policy makers, the press and the public. We did just that.

When you’re an NGO, often tight budgets and big responsibilities come with the territory. And it never helps when government funding is being cut left, right and centre. Sword & Stone were engaged to rapidly develop creative ideas for Missing Children Europe that would deliver high impact for minimal cost.

Well… What could be more impactful than seeing the things that are left behind when a child goes missing?

Outside the European Parliament in the centre of Brussels, we created a large-scale installation of children’s second hand clothes, toys and books, all arranged in the shape of Missing Children Europe’s 116000 hotline number. This drew heartstrings and attention to the crucial resource (currently facing funding cuts) which provides practical, emotional and legal support to at-risk children and their families.

The stunt drew crowds of passers-by, as well as key MEPs, some of whom even helped build the installation with their own donations of clothes. The installation gained coverage in the European press and across social media, calling for greater public awareness, better funding and policy change to help solve this critical issue.

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