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How can we as programmers set up a database to help with family reunification?

So I was having trouble working after reading this article last night: .

And I started thinking that there is going to be a major need for a site where users (either parents, children, or charity workers representing children) can input information about the separation. For example, they could upload details of the separation location, birth dates, and things they remember about their children/ parents at that time (as much as possible). This data could then be stored in a database to aid those searching for their parents/children for many years to come, and it could be shared with many charities helping these people.

I really want to help, but I have to admit that I may not be the most qualified to set this up. I was thinking I could quickly set up a static github page with an embedded google form that linked to a google sheet containing the information. But this seems non-ideal.

I would love to hear any of your thoughts, and would appreciate your help.

Top comments (2)

dmfay profile image
Dian Fay

First thing I'd do is get in touch with the organizations already working to combat family separation. Slate has a list; bigger national orgs like the NIJC, the ACLU, Human Rights First, and the like are probably better placed to give you more guidance. Smaller outfits are more likely to have their hands full already.

Don't go it alone; nobody has any reason to trust some rando with their information so you'll want to work under the auspices of a well-known organization. Some might already have started collecting data, so it'll be worth talking with several. Good luck!

nektro profile image
Meghan (she/her)

+1 for donating to ACLU/others to help out. One of (the thousands) of heart-wrenching things about the situation is that there isn't much we as developers can do. The families and kids and have no ID, no technology, and have already experienced life-lasting trauma. Even if all the facilities were shut down right this second there's a really good chance countless kids would/will never see their families again.

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