Rwanda: Helping Burundian Refugees Reconnect with their Families

Rwanda: Helping Burundian Refugees Reconnect with their Families

More than 55,000 Burundian refugees call Mahama camp home. The main camp located in the eastern province of Rwanda accommodates people who fled the political unrest in Burundi, which began in April 2015.

As part of the ICRC's Restoring Family Links program in the Great Lakes region, the Kigali Delegation distributed SIM cards to Burundian refugees in the Mahama camp. The idea is to make it easier for the people to directly reconnect with their families.

Now, they don't need to rely only on the existing ICRC and Red Cross phone call services offered to them in the camp as well as in the transit centers around Rwanda. They can speak to their family members left behind or living abroad, any time convenient to them.

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Eritrea: 18 years later, father finds lost son

Eritrea: 18 years later, father finds lost son

18 years had passed since Michael last communicated with his family. He wanted to locate his only son and be reunited again. Nearly two decades since being separated, that long-impossible dream came true.

''No words can express my happiness. I am born again,'' Michael said after a connection was made with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross and its family tracing services.

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From Gaza to Paris to be reunited after three years

From Gaza to Paris to be reunited after three years

A few weeks ago, Laila, a 7-year old girl, began a trip that she will remember for her entire life - the one that took her from Gaza to Paris to be reunited with her family.

Her journey involved a whirlwind of emotions: from the sadness of leaving behind her grandmother, uncles and extended family in Gaza, the fatigue of traveling more than 24 hours crossing several countries, to the sheer joy of hugging her parents and two sisters again in Paris after three years apart.

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A History of Restoring Family Links: Finding Family in the Former Yugoslavia

I am new to volunteering with the Restoring Family Links program at the American Red Cross and have been digitizing old paper files from the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1990’s. I see many thank you notes, pictures and hand-written messages in hundreds of foreign languages and many different beautiful scripts. I have been so moved by some of the cases and amazed by the global work of the Red Cross network, and wanted to share these stories.

One case I recently stumbled across came as a result of the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. This series of conflicts has been called the deadliest since WWII. Many of the actions that took place during the war were genocidal, and it’s now infamous for the war crimes that took place.

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