Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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Help with ‘Helping Faceless’, an app to reunite street kids with their families

By NewsGram Staff Writer

We often see homeless children wandering on the streets, begging or asking for food, trying to sell flowers, balloons, and knick-knacks. Or sometimes just staring at the moving traffic with blank eyes, lost in unknown thoughts.

photo credit: twitter.com
photo credit: twitter.com

Little do we know about them and their hardships. Some of them have been abandoned, some of them have never seen their families and some of them have no clue about their origins. There are thousands of such children who have been separated from their families because of kidnapping, child trafficking or just because they ran away from their homes.

Now we can help them, and make them unite with their families, by using an app called Helping Faceless.

What is it about?

This app aims to unite missing children with their parents, who do not have the resources to search for them. A few techies are using current advancements in face recognition to match photos of lost kids to the ones found on streets, generating periodic reports for their NGOs who can then in turn use that actionable intelligence; meanwhile completely maintaining systems that assure privacy for both children and people involved.

photo credit: www.helpingfaceless.com
photo credit: www.helpingfaceless.com

How does it work?

The app is simple, easy to use but very effective. You have to download the app, login through Facebook and then you have the option of either uploading a picture of a child on the spot or selecting a picture from your gallery.

You can also contribute to fight against human trafficking and help lost children return to their parents by helping them match images.

Two different images appear side by side and you have to decide if they are pictures of the same person.

You can choose to select ‘Yes’, ‘Can’t Say’ or ‘No’. There is also an option within the app to invite your Facebook friends to try it out.

Developments so far.

In the short span of time since the app has been functioning, they have created an ever growing database, are in the process of returning one child to his parents, and a Canadian Non Profit Organisation, OSCI, has expressed interest in re-branding and using their app to help missing children in Canada.

The initiative, in its pilot stage, currently has about 22 active volunteers in Mumbai. The founders estimate that they need about a thousand volunteers to be effective in a city such as Mumbai. They are also planning to move to other cities soon as well depending on the response.

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