A social media campaign by Italian football side AS Roma has helped to locate a fifth missing child around the world since its launch in June.
The Italian club, in partnership with different charities, has been using videos of its transfer announcements to feature the faces and share details of missing children on its social media platforms.
A 16-year-old girl from London, who went missing on July 12, appeared in seven different videos before she was found, the club announced on Thursday, making her the second teenager recovered in the UK and fifth worldwide.
“Fantastic news! AS Roma has tonight been informed by our amazing partner @missingpeople that a 16-year-old girl from London has become the fifth young person featured in Roma’s missing children social media campaign to be found safe,” AS Roma said in a Twitter post.
This came after the UK-based group Missing People provided the Italian club with 20 British cases to feature in the campaign.
“We are really thankful to our friends at AS Roma for sharing their transfer videos featuring the missing children on social media,” Jo Youle, CEO of Missing People, said in a statement.
“With the help of their millions of fans, it has raised awareness of missing children and young people to a wide audience.”
🛑 FANTASTIC NEWS 🛑#ASRoma has tonight been informed by our amazing partner @missingpeople that a 16-year-old girl from London has become the FIFTH young person featured in Roma’s missing children social media campaign to be found safe.
The girl appeared in 3 player videos pic.twitter.com/2kaAFRwvAl
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) September 19, 2019
The campaign also helped to find another 15-year-old girl from London in August, six days after she appeared in a video to announce the signing of Turkish defender Mert Cetin.
Earlier this week, two missing Kenyan children – an eight-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy – were also found safe and reunited with their families.
Meanwhile, a nine-year-old boy from Belgium who featured in a video to announce the loan signing of Davide Zappacosta from English side Chelsea, was found earlier this month.
AS Roma launched the campaign on June 30 and has partnered with aid groups in Italy, United States, the UK, Kenya and Spain, as well as the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) to widen its search.
The club, currently eighth in the Serie A standings, said it wants to use the viral nature of social media transfer announcements over the summer to help raise awareness for missing children.
“We have a massive social media following and our announcements generate incredible reach and awareness, all over the world, so we thought that at the exact moment when the world’s attention is on the club’s announcement, we could use our social media channels not for self-promotion but rather to help …..find missing children,” it said.