“One Wish” How the Red Cross helps reconnect missing family members

The three short words "I am alive" may be all that is needed to ease the minds of distraught loved ones half a globe away. As the world’s largest humanitarian network, Red Cross and Red Crescent teams help reconnect families separated by international crises.

Mark was born in Vietnam, but was separated from his family and hadn't known their whereabouts for more than 47 years. The Red Cross helped reconnect them. If you've been separated from loved ones due to war, conflict, disaster, or migration, we may be able to help you too.

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Peru: Red Cross volunteers help families reconnect

Peru: Red Cross volunteers help families reconnect

A series of devastating floods and mudslides in Peru, caused by coastal weather phenomenon El Niño, forced tens of thousands from their homes in the first few months of 2017. Many people lost contact with their loved ones as they fled to safety. They had no idea what had happened to them and no way of finding out.

"The mudslides were so strong, they were destroying everything in their path," says Braulio, one of the hundreds in the Piura coastal region affected by this natural disaster. "The only option really was to flee – and that's exactly what my family did. But I decided to stay behind to protect the few belongings we still had. I couldn't sleep for days on end, fearing for my family's safety. I had no way of finding out how they were or where they had got to."

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This Week in Restoring Family Links

Yemen is currently considered the largest single humanitarian crisis in the world. More than 18 million people are currently reliant on aid with more than 300,000 suspected to be infected with cholera.

Mosul, Iraq was recently liberated by the Iraqi government from IS but while this may be a momentary win, the civilians in this area are still unsafe. Those stuck inside the city lack access to food, water, and medical care. IS’s hold on the region may be nearing an end but the humanitarian crisis is not.

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Nigeria: Three children forced to run from war reunited with family

Nigeria: Three children forced to run from war reunited with family

When the gunfire began, 10-year-old Alkana and her two younger brothers ran for their lives. The military and the opposition were fighting, and the gunfire sent village residents running for cover..

When the situation calmed, the children's mother was nowhere to be found; she had run into the bush for safety. Their father had left their village two years earlier when opposition fighters took over the region.

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Sisters Reconnected

Sisters Reconnected

Our client’s ‘Restoring Family Links’ file revealed her terrible circumstances.  Her mother died giving birth to infant twin sisters.  Her father was killed serving in their African nation’s military.   She, her younger sister, and the new twins all had to move in with her grandparents, cousins … and an aunt whose husband was also murdered because of his involvement in politics. 

 

Then, during a rebel attack, her grandparents were murdered, and her little twin sisters disappeared while she ran, with what remained of her family.  They walked day and night over 1500 kilometers to a Refugee Camp. But once there, her aunt and cousins soon disappeared one night, leaving only one sister with her.  And then finally, one day when she’d stayed home sick from the camp’s school, her sister, too, disappeared.  Despite searching for her everywhere, in the camp, in the nearby town, with the camp officials and the town’s police, no word of her was found.  Everybody and everything she’d ever known was lost to her.

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