A 15-year-old boy from England has become the sixth young person featured in AS Roma’s missing children social media campaign to be found safe and well.
Roma officials were informed on Tuesday by Missing People, the UK charity who partnered with the club last summer, that the teenager from Essex had been found.
Through the partnership, Missing People provided Roma with 20 different British cases to feature in the campaign, which used transfer announcement videos on social media to raise awareness of missing children all over the world.
The English teenager becomes the sixth child featured in the video campaign to be found safe and the third missing young person from England reunited with their family.
On 25 July 2019, a 15-year-old girl from London was found safe, six days after appearing in a video to announce the signing of Turkish defender Mert Cetin.
A week later, a nine-year-old boy from Belgium was found safe after being featured in a video to announce the loan signing of Davide Zappacosta.
In August, a 13-year-old boy, who went missing in Kenya earlier that month and was featured in the Henrikh Mkhitaryan announcement, was found safe.
Roma was then informed by Missing Child Kenya that a second Kenyan child, an eight-year-old girl who was included in the video to announce Chris Smalling’s arrival from Manchester United, had been found and reunited with her family.
A 16-year-old girl from London, who appeared in videos for David Zappacosta, Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, then became the fifth child found safe.
This week’s news about a sixth young person being found safe delivers fresh hope for the families of the other children featured in the campaign.
The boy originally appeared in a video to announce Turkish defender Mert Cetin in August, and was later featured in the video to announce Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s loan signing from Arsenal.
The 15-year-old, who can no longer be identified for legal reasons, was last seen in Essex on August 12 and appeared in six videos and was also directly named in two tweets from Roma’s English Twitter account.
In October, the club even tweeted a personal message to the teenager – appealing for him, and two other missing boys, to contact Missing People directly to tell them they were safe.
The tweet, which was accompanied by a video featuring the boy and other missing children from England, read:
'Oltjon, Kadri and [Name deleted], if you somehow manage to see this video, @missingpeople would like you to know that they’re available for you whenever you’re ready; they can listen, talk you through what help you need or pass a message on. Call. Text. Anytime. Free. Confidential. 116000’
“It is fantastic news that another one of the young people who was part of the AS Roma transfer video appeal has been found,” said Missing People CEO, Jo Youle.
“We are really thankful to our friends at AS Roma for sharing their transfer videos on social media earlier this year and also dedicating additional social media posts to try to help find the boys and girls. With the help of their millions of fans, it has raised awareness of missing children and young people to a wide audience.
"Anything we can do to get the word out about children and young people who have disappeared is welcome. More than 90,000 children are reported missing in the UK each year, with two percent, or 1,600 children and young people, remaining missing for longer than a week.
“As well as sharing appeals through the media, on our website and via social media, Missing People provides free, confidential specialist support through our helpline which is available 24 hours a day, and we also support missing children and adults, and their loved ones, who are left behind using text and email.”
Roma defender Mert Cetin, whose announcement video first featured the missing boy, was informed immediately that a second teenager who’d featured in his video had been found safe and well.
“As soon as I received the news that another missing child had been found, my heart filled with joy,” Cetin told asroma.com.
“I'm really happy that another child who appeared in the video announcing I had signed for Roma has been found safe. I'm sure it was a beautiful Christmas present for him and his family. I’m happy that he's doing well and that I contributed in some small way, along with the club, to raise awareness about his story.”
Click here to follow Missing People on Twitter.
To support Missing People, make a donation today via www.missingpeople.org.uk/donatenow
Your donation could help answer a call to a missing child who could be in danger and has no one else to turn to.