One day, two Danish brothers met a young Afghan man — a refugee — who was searching for his family after being torn apart by human traffickers.
After several days of making phone calls and pulling strings, David and Christopher Mikkelsen helped reunite this young man with one of the people he loved most: his brother.
They hadn’t seen each other for six years.
On that day, the Mikkelsen brothers had an idea: why not create a simple, easy-to-use, web-based tool to help reconnect displaced refugees with their displaced family members?
So, they did. Thus, the foundation of Refugees United.
It is a story like this that reinvigorates me and reminds me of the power of inspiration. When people get inspired — get revved up about something — and then convert that inspiration into action, beautiful things happen.
And we’re reminded that life is epic.
This story in the box above is one of the most awe-inspiring, empowering stories of hope I’ve seen in a long time. The storytelling and production quality are creative, crisp and beautifully executed. And the writing is great. Not only do you hear the journeys of men and women separated from their families, but you hear of their reconnection because of the powerful piece of technology developed by Refugees United.
Furthermore, this multimedia piece also interweaves the heartbeat behind the organization through interviews with the Mikkelsen brothers. Props to Rick Gershon, staff cinematographer for MediaStorm, a multimedia production studio founded by fellow Missouri School of Journalism student — now alum — Brian Storm.
You should visit its website, but here’s a little blurb from the “About Us” page: “Refugees United has developed a web platform and mobile tools that drastically streamline the family tracing process for both NGOs and individuals.
This digital infrastructure not only fosters greater collaboration and promotes unhindered sharing of information among Family Tracing and Reunification (FTR) agencies, but it also gives refugees the ability to become directly involved [my bold] in their search for missing family via an anonymous, safe forum; easily accessible tools; and an ever-expanding, user-driven family finding network.”
Visit this page to see how you can share and support the work of Refugees United and be part of the glue that holds families together.