16-year-old finds her father - believed dead - through Trace the Face

16-year-old finds her father - believed dead - through Trace the Face

Ayasha H.* believes that her father is dead. He has been missing since the middle of 2013, when they lost each other during a chaotic night on the Iranian-Turkish border. Now, the 16-year-old is sitting with her mother in Birgit Koch’s office at the GRC Tracing Service in Nuremburg. One unfamiliar face after the other appears on the computer screen. Ayasha’s mother stares at the images, holding her daughter’s hand tight.

Early in September 2015, Ayasha and her mother Saida* travelled from Afghanistan to Germany with her four siblings: one brother and three sisters. Exactly two months and 24 days after fleeing – Ayasha counted – they finally reached Germany and claimed asylum.

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This Week in Restoring Family Links: 06/27/2016 - 07/01/2016

This Week in Restoring Family Links: 06/27/2016 - 07/01/2016

With the increasing violence in the country, the South Sudanese government has declared that their Independence Day would not be celebrated so that they can “spend the little that [they] have on other issues.

This year marks South Sudan’s fifth years after it broke away from Sudan after decades of conflict.

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Red Cross Participates in OKC World Refugee Day

 Red Cross Participates in OKC World Refugee Day

On Saturday, June 18, 2016, the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma participated in World Refugee Day at Memorial Park in Oklahoma City. World Refugee Day acknowledges the resilience and courage of refugees throughout the world. This year’s event was titled “Many Cultures, One Community.” The American Red Cross Regional International Service Program Coordinator, Bart Frank, described the event as “a true collaboration of non-profit organizations in our community that come together each year to plan and celebrate the lives of refugees in our area.”  “The Red Cross and The Spero Project assist Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City in picking the site, organizing entertainment, and providing supplies and volunteer support. Ten fantastic Red Cross volunteers assisted at the event today, passing out water, discussing disaster situations, and running our famous spinning wheel with prizes for young children who answered questions on disaster-related topics,” said Frank.

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Culture at the Forefront | RFL Chicago brings World Refugee Day downtown!

Culture at the Forefront | RFL Chicago brings World Refugee Day downtown!

This year we welcomed returning artist Abraham Mellish, and new artists Azieb Abraha and Lester Rey to the stage. Each brought a really different sound to the event, sharing music with influences from the Caribbean, Ethiopia, and Liberia, blended together with sounds from the Chicago Latin and hip-hop scene. We also had three new art exhibits this year that were set up throughout Daley Plaza for public viewing. Volunteers answered questions and provided resources and information for anyone wanting to learn more about what we do. We also staged ‘WRD Ambassadors’ throughout the Plaza with Refugee Fact Sheets from the Illinois Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services, handing out almost all 400 of the copies. The Red Cross had an information tent and was staffed by RFL Intern Tessa Lavdiotis and RFL volunteers Susie Mazaheri and Jemina Shikany. Many people approached our tent with questions about donating blood, and while we directed them appropriately, it provided a great opportunity to educate the public about our Restoring Family Links program and our work around the world. 

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