PolishEnglish (UK)

Interactive Map of Missing Persons

Itaka Foundation has decided to use whole potential of internet and social media to reinforce their action’s efficacy.


Virus-like aspect of posts spreading on facebook makes it an excellent tool to inform about the missing persons. Hence, on Itaka’s facebook profile a special application has been added - it allows to diffuse instantly the image of the missing person, it contains also an interactive map thanks to which people from the same neighborhood as the missing person (e-volunteers) can be involved directly in searching process.
Organizer: Fundacja Itaka – Centrum Poszukiwan Ludzi Zaginionych (Itaka Foundation – Center for Research of Missing Persons)

Website of the project: https://www.facebook.com/FundacjaItaka/app_228291653962244

In what way your initiative engaged e-volunteers?

Application contains a map of the world where places of disappearances are marked altogether with an information about the missing persons. E-volunteers by browsing the map can verify where disappearances have been noted. By clicking on a miniature picture placed on the map, they are opening a window containing personal data of a missing person, they have also a possibility to share information on facebook, or to ask friends to help, as well as an option of printing a poster with missing person’s photo to hang in their neighborhood. It’s the first application of this kind in Poland (probably in the world, too) used for searching, matching Itaka’s database of the missing persons. E-volunteers have the possibility to verify how many people are currently missing in particular region and how many have already been found. Moreover, a special ranking will be created for most active e-volunteers. People who are actively involved in searching efforts will be able to get points for, among others, making the images of missing persons available, for inviting their friends to participate, for help with searching by sending a valuable information on a missing person to the Foundation. Application enables sending a CV, one can also become a volunteer working for Support Line in the offices of the Foundation.

Who are the e-volunteers involved in the project? How did you start co-operation with them?

Our volunteers are simply users of facebook. Everyone regardless of age, gender, education social status, who uses internet and has an account on facebook, can become our volunteer.

How many volunteers are involved?

We have already 430 registered e-volunteers. Application works since 8th of October 2013 and every day since the number of e-volunteers have been growing.

How do you verify the e-volunteers’ competences before they start the co-operation with you?

In this specific case it is not necessary. The more people become our e-volunteer, the broader can be the diffusion of the photo of the missing person. E-volunteers helping us don’t need any special competencies – it is enough if they know how to use PC and have their profile on facebook.

How do you ensure the safety and the quality of the e-volunteers’ work?

The work of e-volunteers consists of exchange of information about the missing persons on facebook. Volunteers have access only to specific data concerning the missing person and can forward it only in precise, agreed format, therefore the help they provide can only have positive result. Additional security measures are privacy and safety settings of Facebook – they allow to block inappropriate content, enable to report abuse and harmful comments to the website administrator. Application is connected with our database of the missing persons, so e-volunteers are only able to participate in locating those missing persons who are being sought by the police or the Foundation Itaka.

[Translation provided by our e-volunteer - THANK YOU!!!]