Lesvos: New Shoreline Transit Center Helps Migrants upon Arrival

Lesvos: New Shoreline Transit Center Helps Migrants upon Arrival

Over 26,000 vulnerable people have braved the freezing weather and rough seas to reach Lesvos in the first few weeks of 2016. Once they have been helped ashore by the Hellenic Red Cross rescue team and other lifeguards, many of them make their way to a new transit center by the shoreline.

It is bitterly cold with winds rushing between the tents at the transit center Apanemo high up in the hills. But inside a large tent it is warm and noisy with families sipping tea and children playing. They are waiting to board the minibuses taking them to the registration centers.

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Reconnection Amid Crisis and Conflict

Reconnection Amid Crisis and Conflict

Since the collapse of the Barre regime in Somalia in 1991, conflict and famine have forced thousands of families from their homes. While some became internally displaced, others sought protection in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. The massive population movement and resulting resettlement of Somali refugees has caused many families to become separated and lose contact with one another.

The American Red Cross as a part of the Global Red Cross Movement has for years worked to reconnect Somali families through its Restoring Family Links program. This includes searching for lost relatives, but also helping to maintain communication between loved ones who may have difficulty reaching one another by phone, email, or letter.

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This Week in Restoring Family Links 2/1/2016 - 2/5/2016

This Week in Restoring Family Links 2/1/2016 - 2/5/2016

Supporting Syria: Yesterday, the Supporting Syria & the Region 2016 conference was held in London, co-hosted by the UK, Germany, Kuwait, Norway, and the United Nations. The conference brought together world leaders to address, coordinate, and raise significant funding to meet the immediate and long-term effects of the ongoing conflict. Building upon three previous such conferences in Kuwait, world leaders, as well as various NGO's came together to plan for and coordinate several relevant goals: raising funding, providing education access, create job opportunities, and apply international pressure to respect humanitarian law, among others. Donors pledged over USD $10 billion to the cause, with the largest pledges coming from the European Union, the United States, Japan, Germany, and others. 

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Red Cross Gives Peace of Mind to Migrants' Families

Red Cross Gives Peace of Mind to Migrants' Families

The long and perilous journey across the Mediterranean has tragically resulted in loss of life for many migrants, creating uncertainty for their families and loved ones concerning their fate. The International Committee of the Red Cross combines their expertise in forensics and reconnecting families in their response; identifying bodies, placing names on gravestones, and informing families. Click into the story to watch the video.

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Returning to the Red Cross

Returning to the Red Cross

Van’s family was no stranger to conflict, migration, and family separation. Following the fall of Saigon, he, his sisters, and mother fled Vietnam. They were supposed to leave with the rest of the family, but in the chaos consuming the days after the fall, there was no time to question, only run. Van and his family eventually made it onto a rickety boat where the fear of capsizing was constant until they were rescued at sea and brought to the United States as refugees.

While they worked hard to adjust to their new life in the US, the rest of their family was never far from mind. Van constantly worried about his older brother and father, both who had close ties with the South Vietnamese government. The family turned to the Red Cross in the hopes that they would be able to locate their missing loved ones. Days turned to weeks, which turned to months. Then one day they received a call - the Red Cross found Van’s brother.

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