Feb 15 19
REFUNITE’s Community Leader Network saves albino child’s life
Gilbert, Mariam and their children on their wedding day. Building on a base of more than 1 million users looking for missing family members through REFUNITE’s platform, REFUNITE has identified and partnered with more than 4000 local community leaders to help reach offline refugees in highly disconnected and illiterate communities. Through these leaders, that are highly respected in their local societies, REFUNITE has a reach to more than 100 refugee communities and a combined reach to more than 2.4 million people. This allows REFUNITE to support communication around things that are locally relevant and often life-altering; and around issues that have an impact far beyond just family tracing. In late 2018, REFUNITE came across a struggling family. Gilbert and Mariam, a couple from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, were living in isolation from their surrounding community in Burundi due to their 7-year old albino child. The country unfortunately has…
Feb 13 19
The lost boy from Kenya
John’s picture, which was sent to his parents In December 2018, when most families were preparing to celebrate Christmas, John was thinking about his way out of a tough situation. Separated from his mother and father, he was living with distant family members. However, being subject to abuse by his relatives, his living situation had gotten unbearable and John wished for nothing but a safe place to live. John met a truck driver who was willing to help him get as far away from the abusive family members as possible. Hidden inside the truck, John ended up crossing the border to Tanzania. Fearing his relatives could come after him and still find him, John decided to go further. A bus took him to Kigoma, from where he eventually crossed the Tanganyika Lake and ended up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Upon arrival in the DRC, John was happy…
Apr 4 18
After Years Apart Mother And Son Reconnect Across Continents
After Years Apart Mother And Son Reconnect Across Continents Tino* was born in 1992 in Kisangani, in the north-eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tino and his five siblings had a happy childhood and close-knit family. When Tino was 16, his parents divorced and his father moved to Goma in North Kivu with the children. In eastern Congo this was a time of turmoil and violence. In 2013 conflict broke out and Tino fled to neighbouring Uganda. He lost contact with his siblings and with his mother Nadine*. Years passed. Nadine was now working in Kinshasa and she met a French man to whom she got married. In 2014 they both moved to France. In her newly opened hair salon, Nadine had the photo of her family back in Kisangani. She could not stop thinking about her children and was running out of ways to search for…
Mar 27 18
Bonheur And Mireille: Hope And Connection After Ten Years Apart
Bonheur And Mireille: Hope And Connection After Ten Years Apart Bonheur was born in a refugee camp. Before the war, his parents lived in Sud-Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 1998, unrest and violence forced them from their home. They crossed lake Tanganyika on a boat and fled to Lugufu refugee camp in western Tanzania. This was the place where Bonheur was born. By the time Bonheur was starting school, the situation in eastern Congo had seemingly gone back to normal. Bonheur’s parents decided to return to South-Kivu and be closer to the rest of the family. In their hometown of Baraka, Bonheur grew up surrounded by the love of his parents, his aunt Merveille and uncle Emmanuel. However, growing insecurity in eastern Congo displaced many families again. When Bonheur’s father was killed in 2008, Bonheur, Merveille, and Emmanuel ran away. They ran in all directions. They…
Mar 13 18
Marie And Pauline: Congolese Sisters Reconnected After Years Of Separation
Marie And Pauline: Congolese Sisters Reconnected After Years Of Separation Marie grew up in Goma, North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), surrounded by her nine siblings. She remembers the day when her youngest sister, Pauline, moved to Canada with her husband. Pauline had the chance to start afresh in a new country, different and far away from her own. Pauline missed her family and treasured the long phone calls with her sister Marie, during which the two sisters talked about their respective lives, their daily hardships, and their dreams and hopes for the future. In 2012, armed forces took over their hometown of Goma and the family got scattered. Marie was left with nothing. It was hard to believe that in only one day she had lost everything: her home, her belongings, her family. Marie found refuge in Kampala, Uganda, where she learned that the rest of the…
Mar 13 18
Maman Grace And Théo: Finding Each Other After Ten Years Apart
Maman Grace And Théo: Finding Each Other After Ten Years Apart Théo was a bright child and gifted football player with big dreams and ambitions for the future. He was 8 years old when he left his hometown in the South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It was 1996 and generalized political unrest forced many families to leave the country. Théo, his mother, and his two older sisters crossed the Tanzanian border to find refuge in Nyarugusu refugee camp, home to over 150,000 forcibly displaced people. For the family life in Nyarugusu was not easy, but for some time it felt safe, or safer, than home. Théo was not a common child and his talents did not go unnoticed. After several threats and a poisoning attempt, in 2008 Théo decided to leave the camp. The first place he went to was the port city of Mwanza,…
Mar 7 18
REFUNITE Joins Danish Delegation’s Visit to Kalobeyei and Kakuma, Kenya
REFUNITE Joins Joins Danish Delegation’s Visit to Kalobeyei and Kakuma, Kenya Nairobi, Kenya – On March 6th, REFUNITE had the opportunity to meet the Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark, Ulla Tørnæs, and join a Danish Delegation during their visit to Kalobeyei settlement and Kakuma refugee camp in North-Western Kenya. The purpose of the visit was to learn about technology and development in Kenya and the existing initiatives and solutions in the ecosystem. REFUNITE’s team was honored to meet the Minister and discuss how technology can help to bring refugees families together. The Minister also talked to refugee families reunited through the REFUNITE family tracing platform to learn more about their past experiences and hopes for the future. During the visit, the Minister announced that the Danish Embassy in Nairobi will recruit a regional tech advisor to support the Danish tech ambassador and Danish initiatives on technology and development.…
Mar 6 18
REFUNITE Joins Roundtable on Technology and Development
REFUNITE Joins Roundtable on Technology and Development Nairobi, Kenya – On Monday March 5th, REFUNITE joined a roundtable discussion on Technology and Development at Nairobi Garage, Africa’s largest co-working space. The event was hosted by Unumed, a software company specialized in IT solutions for healthcare facilities. The roundtable had as honorable guests the Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark, Ulla Tørnæs, and H.E. The Danish Ambassador of Kenya, Mette Knudsen. Startups, humanitarian agencies and tech companies gathered to discuss the dynamics between technology, development, and humanitarian aid in Kenya’s ‘Silicon Savannah’, and across East Africa. During the visit, the Minister announced that the Danish Embassy in Nairobi will recruit a regional tech advisor to support the Danish tech ambassador and Danish initiatives on technology and development. Stay posted for more details! 6th March, 2018.
Mar 1 18
“I am not alone anymore and I am full of hope”
“I am not alone anymore and I am full of hope” Afshan Bibi*, 67, is a refugee from Afghanistan. For the past 19 years she has been living in a refugee camp in Islamabad, Pakistan. She is one of the many refugees who are facing hardships, separation and loss of loved ones in the country. Afshan has been separated from her son, Farjaad*, since 2008. Farjaad worked as a laborer at the local vegetable market in Islamabad. He was 16 the last time Afshan saw him. On a hot summer morning he left the refugee camp and set out for work but did not return home at his usual time. As dinner time neared, Afshan started worrying and with the hours passing her sorrow grew stronger and stronger. “As morning dawned, I couldn’t sit at home anymore. I asked around the camp hoping someone had seen him” recounts Afshan.…
Feb 3 18
WEF 2018: News From Davos
World Economic Forum 2018: News From Davos 23-26 January 2018 – The 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting just ended in Davos, Switzerland. The Forum brought together over 3,000 leaders from government, business, civil society and academia. This year the conversation and programme were focused on “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”. REFUNITE Co-Founder and Co-CEO Christopher Mikkelsen was in Davos to take part in panel discussions and high-level events, taking the opportunity to discuss REFUNITE’s mission and how the organization is creating digital bridges to reconnect separated families, thus contributing to a more connected future in divided societies. 1st February, 2018.
Hundreds of families are reconnected through our work every month, often after years of searching for their missing loved ones.
Any donation will help separated families reconnect.