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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Drawn Together: The Plight of the Missing

Drawn Together: The Plight of the Missing

For a few hours there will be news stories about the 'missing'. Tragic stories, testimony from different parts of the world. Then the dust will settle, the tears will dry and the world will carry on. Just like every year.

But for thousands and thousands of families who have lost someone, the tears will not dry and they will not just carry on. They will try to continue living with the pain, of the searing uncertainty, of not knowing what happened to their loved ones.

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Human+Kind: Juan's story

Human+Kind: Juan's story

I have been in Tijuana for 10 months since I was deported. I volunteer at the shelter. I guard the front door. I have seen people that have been deported from the United States, as well as people who have migrated from the south on their way north.

I have family in the United States, a young son. I’ve received a lifetime ban from re-entering. So, I’m here for the time being and, while I’m here, I’m taking classes [at the shelter] to complete my high school education. I’m also studying computers. I put together my first PowerPoint presentation on sea turtles who are at risk of extinction.

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Afghanistan: For Parents of missing migrant, silence is the hardest part

Afghanistan: For Parents of missing migrant, silence is the hardest part

Shafiq wanted to study in Europe. He has now disappeared, like thousands of other Afghan migrants on the Balkan route.

Imagine how it must feel when your 15-year-old son calls you from Iran and asks your permission to go to Europe. This was the situation facing Haji Ghulam Mohammad in October last year. Shafiq was studying in Iran and staying with relatives there. Other relatives arrived from Afghanistan en route to Europe, and offered to take him with them.

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This Week in Restoring Family Links: World Refugee Day 2016

This Week in Restoring Family Links: World Refugee Day 2016

This week on June 20th, the world recognized World Refugee Day. A day established by the United Nations to celebrate the resilience of refugees while also calling attention to the plight of millions globally. In order to highlight this occasion, the Restoring Family Links program of the American Red Cross presents the following infographic. 

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