Lost and found within a week
May 6 19

REFUNITE’s Community Leader Network has engaged more than 4000 local leaders. This network has a combined reach to more than 2.4 million people. This allows REFUNITE to support communication around communities and the information can travel fast, since the supported population already knows who they should ask for support.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, parents and children get separated every day while fleeing conflict areas. These families can be scattered  and without any contact for years. Thanks to the REFUNITE Community Leader Network, one of these families experienced the power of the communication among the network.

Marcel, his wife and son left Beni due to the insecurity in the city seeking for a safer place in Goma. The family was traveling in a cargo truck. The son, Lukas, was ill and was invited by the driver to travel with him in the cabin, while the parents were accommodated on the back of the vehicle.  During one of the regular stops, in Rutshuru, Lukas got off the truck. Only when all travelers reached to their final destination, in Goma, they realized Lukas was not with them.

Fortunately, Lukas was assisted by a woman, who saw him alone and frightened. She learned about his situation and reached out to her community leader in Rutshuru, who immediately informed our Call Center Team.

REFUNITE created posters with the parents’ and son’s’ names, adding the leaders’ phone numbers according to each location, from Beni to Goma.  The community representatives fixed the communication in areas where the parents could reach to while searching for their son. The father saw one of the posters and called our leader in Goma, learning that Lukas was safe and protected in Rutshuru.

“You are an angel that helped me find my son… I couldn’t believe it when I saw the poster!”, said Marcel to the community leader after being reunited with his son.

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.