"The future of aid is not a one-way street," WIRED magazine recently quoted me, Christopher, from a speech I delivered at their 2011 conference in London. I could also have spoken about dead-end streets, the streets that have no name, or no streets at all, as is often the case in places like South Sudan.
In pursuit of defining why the future of aid is not a one-way street, we will be careening through these Huffington Post blog posts at various speeds, depicting the life and times of Refugees United, our tech non-profit company helping reconnect separated refugee families.
Why should you care? Because 43 million people are displaced today, with millions of refugees looking for missing family. Because this is a crisis Refugees United and partners have the ability to end. Because you might learn a thing or two, and help us better tackle this global problem through your insights. And finally, you'll be a blind passenger on the journey of two stowaways that crawled from the machine room to the captain's cabin, not always taking the stairs.
Refugees United was formed to provide refugee agencies as well as refugees themselves with a global communications infrastructure, aimed at speeding up the search for missing loved ones. Through 10-dollar mobile handsets, agencies and refugees alike can upload and share non-sensitive information about missing family, even from some of the most disconnected camps in this world.
Prior to the birth of Refugees United, family tracing was performed by pen and paper, not shared across agencies, and rarely across borders. Pushing an open platform, and accessible information, we're on a mission to heighten the levels of collaboration and reconnect more people than ever. Currently, close to 50,000 refugees are searching for missing loved ones through Refugees United and partners.
From Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, Tanzania and Somalia you'll be getting raw stories straight from the refugee camps, following refugees' struggle to reconnect with kin.
Through our journey we want to thrill you, inform you, and try not to kill you with drivel and verbosity. At the end of the tunnel there is a light. We'll turn off that light so it won't blind you and keep you from understanding the realities millions of displaced people face every day.
Welcome to our adventures.