DRC Displaced families
Nirere, 9, speaks to her mother for the first time in 15 months

Congolese families divided by war have been able to speak with their relatives after years of separation.

The initiative has been launched by Vodafone Firsts, a global programme that tells stories about people doing life-changing things for the first time with the help of mobile technology.

A video released by the company on Friday, shows how humanitarian Jean-Marie Minani reunites displaced families in DRC, helping them call their loved ones for the first time.

Nirere, for example, is a nine-year-old displaced girl who has the possibility, to speak with her mother for the first time in 15 months.

Nirere lives at the Mugunga refugee camp near Goma, DRC, which houses around 8,000 displaced families.

People living at the Mugunga camp are able to make five minutes of free calls a week and, since the project started in the camp in October 2013, 2,000 calls a week have been made. The Vodafone Foundation initiative is conducted in partnership with Vodacom, the pan-African telecoms company majority owned by Vodafone.

Minani, who manages four free humanitarian calling booths at the Mugunga Camp as part of the Instant Network programme run by the Vodafone Foundation, has provided around 17,000 displaced people in the camp with access to free mobile calls.

This has enabled them to reconnect with their loved ones often or, as in the case of Nirere, for the first time in more than a year.

"They don't have the capabilities to talk to their families or friends who stayed in the villages," Minami explained.

"We built four cabins in the camp and in each cabin there are four telephones, where the refugees can go and communicate easily," he continued.

"It is amazing to be able to put a smile on the faces of some of these people and provide them with an emotional lifeline. For me, this is not just a job, it is a vocation," Minani concluded.

Oisin Walton, Instant Network Programme Manager at the Vodafone Foundation, said: "For the first time, the refugees in the camp have access to free calls to reconnect and stay in touch with their relatives. This is one example of how a simple mobile phone call has the power to reunite families and transform people's lives."

The Second Congo War, known also as the Great War of Africa, began in August 1998, one year after year after the First Congo War.

Despite a ceasefire deal was signed in 2003, 1,000 people died daily in 2004 from easily preventable cases of malnutrition and disease, according to International Rescue Committee.

The six-year war has been followed by several conflicts, mainly caused by minerals trade.