June 20th is a day like every other day. 86,400 seconds: A blink of an eye to some, and to others a lifetime passing by. For more than 36 million people, this day, as any other, is 1,440 minutes of despair, another day of uncertainty, 24 hours of fear.
June 20th is World Refugee Day.
Celebrating World Refugee Day is not so much a celebration as a remembrance; a remembrance of what could have been for all these people had they been granted the geographical opportunities we enjoy. A remembrance that, at the end of the day, we are all looking for the same things: The opportunity to make something of ourselves, to provide shelter and food for those you love, to spend time with your family.
This last thing, family, is a luxury taken for granted by most, yet a necessity deprived so many. Across our world, hundreds of thousands of refugee families have been separated, unable to find each other, touching the lives of millions of people. It need not be so.
In remembrance of World Refugee Day, Refugees United and Ericsson are proud to extend our partnership in mobile phone family tracing services for refugees with mobile operators MTN Group and Safaricom.
Working to encompass refugee agencies as well as refugees themselves in a seamless information network, every day Refugees United make inroads in helping families reconnect. Currently, more than 41,000 refugees have been signed up to our platform, in search of missing loved ones.
It’s a huge responsibility trying to reconnect what was not long ago, as well as an opportunity to push the wonders of mobile technologies to empower some of the most information-deprived peoples among us. A remembrance of missing loved ones that, hopefully, soon will be just that: A thing of the past.
Please follow www.twitter.com/refunite today for exciting updates, news and press releases.
David and Christopher Mikkelsen,
On behalf of the Refugees United Team