Free Basics by Facebook and m.refunite.org go live in three new countries


Sureka Murray

Free Basics by Facebook and m.refunite.org go live in three new countries

for internet.org launch

 

REFUNITE is excited to announce the launch of our family reconnection service through Free Basics by Facebook in an additional three countries: Pakistan, Ghana, and the Philippines. Thousands of families have been separated in the Philippines and Pakistan due to conflict, war and natural disaster. In Ghana more than 18.000 refugees suffer from trauma and loss having fled from rebel groups and poverty. Thanks to Free Basics by Facebook, m.refunite.org can be accessed for free in eight countries. As of 5th March 2016 we have introduced three more countries to use REFUNITE’s platform to search and reconnect with missing family and loved ones. Our growing partnership with Facebook has allowed us to further expand our family tracing and reconnection tool, and through this, better reach and serve displaced families. Through Free Basics by Facebook, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) from eleven countries can now easily access useful services through their smartphones or even simple feature phones at no cost. In addition to providing easy and free access to REFUNITEs family reconnection platform m.refunite.org, with Free Basics, people can more efficiently gain useful information on other important topics as well, such as health, education, and job search.

While the launch of Free Basics by Facebook in Pakistan, Ghana and Philippines is still in its early stages, by partnering with big mobile network operators like Airtel in Ghana, Telenor and Zong in Pakistan, and Smart and Globe in the Philippines, we know that we can reach out to a significant number of refugees and IDPs who have lost touch with family or friends, and help put them back in contact with their loved ones.

Our collaboration with Facebook in these countries is an important step in REFUNITEs aim to connect the most disconnected in the world. These countries all have high refugee and IDP populations:

  • Pakistan is home to more than 1.5 million registered refugees mainly from Afghanistan, and around 714, 548 IDPs due to political conflict
  • Ghana hosts around 18, 476 refugees, mainly Togolese and Ivorians
  • The Philippines has at least 119,000 IDPs, largely due to displacement caused by natural disasters

The continuation of our collaboration with Facebook, since 2015, comes with an enormous benefit for our online reconnection platform, we can now reach out to even more people searching for their missing loved ones and hopefully succeed in even more family reconnections every month.  With almost 500,000 registered users globally, we can, through our new launches in Pakistan, Ghana and the Philippines, even further grow the online platform and at the same time, optimize our service according to the needs of our users, based on their personal experiences and the country we are live in.