Global Voices

This Platform Has Helped Thousands of Migrants Reconnect with Their Families Back Home

Around the world, an estimated 65 million people who, for one reason or another, have been forced to flee their homelands. This platform aims to reunite broken families.

Photo of a refugee camp in Rwanda. Photo by©Elisa Finocchiaro Creative Commons – license – BY

There are about 65 million people worldwide right now who have fled their homeland. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says this is the highest such figure since the second world war. As tragic as that is, it's even more heartbreaking to realize that many of those folks have lost contact with their families.

But help may be on the way.

Two Danish brothers and social entrepreneurs David and Christopher Mikkelsen have found a solution to this challenge. Their platform, REFUNITE, for Refugees United, has registered more than half a million migrants around the world to re-establish lost contact with their families. Here is a video that summarizes the principles of the project:

REFUNITE is headquartered in Kenya, but was first created in Denmark in collaboration with Ericsson. It is funded by the IKEA Foundation and other private foundations and it has partnership with a global coalition of mobile operators and with Facebook.

So far close to 11 million messages have passed through the platform and has performed over 9 million searches, with 600,000 total registrations all over the world. By 2017 REFUNITE aims to register 1 million displaced people.

Originally published in Global Voices.

More from Global Voices

Global Voices3 min readPolitics
The Ivan Golunov Phenomenon: A Brief Moment Of Solidarity And Euphoria In Putin’s Russia
Many are calling for more action to punish law enforcement forces that fabricated the case.
Global Voices3 min readSociety
Bhutan Takes First Steps Toward Decriminalizing Homosexuality
The bill will be discussed in the National Council, the upper house of the parliament, during the upcoming winter session starting in November. Bhutanese activists eagerly await the results.
Global Voices3 min readTech
In Hong Kong, Authorities Arrest The Administrator Of A Telegram Protest Group—and Force Him To Hand Over A List Of Its Members
A list of members of the group-- which numbers between 20,000 and 30,000 people--, as well as all the messages exchanged in the secure chat, have been exposed to the police.