When a child goes missing, every second counts. The goal of Missing Child Kenya is to boost search efforts for missing children by sharing photo posters and alerts to as broad an audience and in the fastest of time as possible.
Missing Child Kenya depends a lot on the social good of individuals across Kenya through community crowd sourcing. When you share a missing child alert, you are making your much valued individual contribution to reuniting a missing child with their family. With the help and participation of the public we continue to grow and make our community outreach efforts more sustainable.
Child helplines have become even more important to mental health concerns of children in these times of the Covid 19 pandemic. At Missing Child Kenya, we noticed an increase in the number of calls, texts and messages reporting missing children on our 0800 22 33 44 Helpline.
Different hotlines that are making use of different communication methods to reach out to children, such as landline phones, mobile phones, emails, internet chat rooms, outreach, SMS/mobile texts and more.
We are challenged to determine if our current /anticipated model is designed for use by the children themselves as well. In today’s connected society, young people are increasingly using mobile services to connect and communicate with the world around them.
Tailoring the user experience of children can play a vital role in enabling children in need to reach out to our helpline for support and protection, to assert their right to be heard and their right to safety.
In 2021, Open Institute partnered with Missing Child Kenya to make the website more accessible and user friendly to the community. There are many features and tools on this new Missing Child Kenya website, and on this day we highlighted one very simple and common tool that was in line with my message for the day – THE POWER OF COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION.
WhatsApp is the most widely used direct messaging app ever, and more and more organizations, both offline and online, are realizing the need to integrate this channel into their operations.
There are many good reasons to use WhatsApp API for community engagement of missing child alerts.
• Most people open their messenger apps several times per day. WhatsApp is the easiest, most convenient way for the community to get in touch with Missing Child Kenya because it’s already part of their daily habits.
• Mobile messages see open rates of 98 percent in comparison to other communication channels.
• Messaging allows you to react faster to reports of missing children. We are present and remain reachable.
• Communication is convenient and efficient. Parents or responders can share text messages and most importantly images of missing/lost and found children.
During International Missing Children’s Day celebrations at Nairobi Children’s Remand Home in Kabete, we did this simple exercise together on our phones to show how easy it is to engage with Missing Child Kenya through our new and improved website.
Remember, you are our eyes and ears on the ground.
I would like to say thank you to Open Institute – Al Kags – Special mention to John Muceke and his team who have tirelessly worked alongside us as we continue to develop our website.
I will conclude by stressing the theme of MAY 25 2022 INTERNATIONAL MISSING CHILDREN’S DAY:
TOGETHER WE CAN BRING OUR MISSING CHILDREN BACK HOME.