Missing Kenyan Children Found After Being Featured in Roma Social Media Campaign

By Wire Service Content

Two missing Kenyan children who featured in a social media campaign run by Italian soccer side AS Roma have been found, the club said.

On Sunday, Sept. 15, a 13-year-old boy was found and reunited with his family, while on Tuesday, an eight-year-old girl was found.

The image of the missing boy was posted on Twitter alongside a picture of the club’s new summer signing, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, following his loan move from Arsenal, while the girl appeared in Chris Smalling’s transfer announcement in August.

In a campaign that started this summer, the Serie A team partnered with charities National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Telefono Azzurro, Missing People and Missing Child Kenya.

With every transfer announcement Roma made, the club shared two videos of missing children—one from the United States and one from Italy, initially.

A girl from London who appeared alongside the signing of Turkish defender Mert Cetin, and a boy from Belgium shown with the transfer announcement of Davide Zappacosta, have also been found as part of the campaign.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team's first goal
Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, United Kingdom, on Dec. 16, 2018.(Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Roma was inspired to launch this initiative by American rock band Soul Asylum—who used the music video for “Runaway Train” to promote the search of 36 missing children.

While Roma has received praise for raising awareness through its social media, the club’s head of strategy, Paul Rogers, emphasized the campaign has nothing to do with “self-promotion.”

“It’s not about Roma trying to be original or to get a pat on the back, it’s actually more about how we can do as much as possible to try raise awareness,” Rogers told CNN Sport earlier this summer.

“If we can help in any small way in maybe finding someone who has a piece of information that might result in someone getting back in contact with one of the charities, then it would be a great thing.”

Mkhitaryan scored on his Serie A debut for Roma in a 4-2 victory over Sassuolo, which happened to be the same day that the Kenyan boy was found.

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