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Help for missing people

25 July 2011  I  For immediate release

The number of South African family members reported to the Salvation Army’s international Family Tracing Service is amongst the highest in the world. According to The Salvation Army’s tracing service statistics, the total number of names received in the beginning of this year amounts to 60, of which South Africa contributed 40. England reported the second highest figure – 16 with Australia, Germany, Norway and Denmark contributing one person each.

Lieutenant Colonel Veronica Trollip, of The Salvation Army Family Tracing Service, said that last year they received 39 names in total. The number has increased by 51 % this year. Fortunately 41 of those people reported missing, have been traced and reunited with their families.

The Salvation Army Family Tracing Service only seeks to reunite families and bring reconciliation where necessary. However, this service does not search for biological parents in the case of adoption, a missing spouse for divorce, maintenance or child custody purpose, nor does it trace people for genealogical purposes.

Trollip said that people do not just disappear for the sake of doing so.

“Usually their disappearance arises from neglecting to keep the lines of communication open.

“Our goal is to reunite relatives who mutually desire contact and possibly fill the void many people feel. This is not always possible as there are many cases where the missing person in fact does not want to make contact.”

The Salvation Army tries to reconnect families who have been out of touch for various reasons as well as offer the opportunity to rebuild ties and relationships within the family.

“We aim to facilitate contact by providing resources, emotional and spiritual support to both the inquirer and the missing relative,” said Lieutenant Trollip. “We use a unique letter forwarding service that enables both parties to communicate without releasing the missing person’s whereabouts and this assists the families to establish a relationship and determine if a reunion is possible.”

Everything related to the search is confidential. For any information regarding the missing person to be released, The Salvation Army is guided by the persons’ permission.

The main purpose of The Salvation Army’s Family Tracing Service is to build bridges of reconciliation and to achieve reunion between the lost, and often estranged, family members.

In addition to the Family Tracing Service, The Salvation Army has homes for babies and children with HIV/Aids, pre-schools, shelters for the homeless, emergency services, feeding schemes, centres for abused women and children, homes for abandoned children, prevention of human trafficking, the protection of the victims and the lawful prosecution of the perpetrators.

If you have lost contact or need to get in touch with a loved one, contact The Salvation Army Family Tracing Service on 022-492-3410. Alternatively, visit


The Salvation Army is an international movement and evangelical part of the universal Christian Church and has a professional record in rehabilitating and accommodating trafficking trade victims and addressing social injustice in a systematic, measured, proactive and Christian manner through its International Social Justice Commission.


Media Contact: Ulwazi Mgwadleka
Tel: 011-487-0026
Cell: 083-998-8380
E-mail: click here to email Ulwazi Mgwadleka
Client Contact: Lieutenant Colonel Veronica Trollip
The Salvation Army’s Family Tracing Service
Tel: 022-492-3410
Cell: 082-414-2029
E-mail: click here to email Family Tracing Service
Client Contact: Captain Piet Semeno
Public Relations Secretary
Tel: 011-718-6745
Cell: 082-994-4351
E-mail: click here to email Captain Piet Semeno