Jamii: Reconnecting Child Refugees with their Families through Technology

Wyatt Cook, `14
Wyatt Cook, `14

By: Wyatt Cook, `14

In a world where there are more people with access to a mobile phone than there are people with access to a working toilet, information and communication technologies have really just started to see their potential to help solve global issues.  Some of these ICTs that have been effective in recent years include UNICEF’s text to change ( an AIDS awareness texting based technology) and m-Pesa, a mobile payments platform based in Kenya ( also a texting based technology) and both have been proven to be very effective.

 

I have been using ICTs as well to try and help reconnect child refugees to their families and communities through an Android app I’m developing called Jamii (which means community in Swahili).  The app is a database app that will be used by volunteer workers in Africa who will fill out queries about the children who are missing on behalf of their families and then  on behalf of the children to try and reconnect them.  This idea stemmed from the fact that ex child soldiers who didn’t reconnect with their families have much higher rates of PTSD than the children who did reconnect with their families, and a large portion of the children either take years to reconnect to their families, or even never reconnect.  I hope to try and alleviate some of the damage done by child refugees not reconnecting with their families with my app and instead of learning about an issue, I’m trying to help stop an issue.

Jamii: Reconnecting Child Refugees with their Families through Technology

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