In Nigeria, fear, anxiety and a long journey home

In Nigeria, fear, anxiety and a long journey home

Fear and anxiety. They are emotions that a teenager, a blind man and two brothers in Nigeria had in common after outbreaks of violence forced them to flee so quickly they lost track of their family. The four share something else in common: A happy ending.

Thirteen-year-old Abba was playing with friends when volleys of gunfire sent the town of Mubi into panic one afternoon in 2014. Abba ran into nearby mountains. Now separated from his family, the teen travelled nearly 200 kilometers north -- mostly on foot – to the city of Maiduguri. Months passed as he settled into the routine of life in a camp for displaced people. Then one day he met with an International Committee of the Red Cross team that specializes in putting separated families back together again.

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This week in Restoring Family Links: 06/06/2016-06/10/2016

This week in Restoring Family Links: 06/06/2016-06/10/2016

Refugee team to compete in the Olympics: On June 3, the International Olympic Committee revealed that a team of 10 refugees will be participating and competing in the Rio Olympics Games in 2016 under the Olympics flag. The athletes are citizens of South Sudan, Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia – all of which are suffering from instability and insecurity. The selected participants will participate in a variety of sports, such as swimming, athletics – 800m, athletics – 400m, marathon, athletics – 1500m, judo – 70kg, and judo – 90kg. 

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This week in Restoring Family Links: 05/23/2016-05/27/2016

This week in Restoring Family Links: 05/23/2016-05/27/2016

World Humanitarian Summit: From May 23 to May 24 in Istanbul, Turkey, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon initiated the first World Humanitarian Summit. The summit was convened at a time period when “protracted conflict, instability, and forced displacement are the defining features of the global landscape,” and when the growth of financial needs for these crises increases significantly. The summit thus urged world leaders, organizations, and others to take more actions to aid those needs as well as to prevent further human suffering. 

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This Week in Restoring Family Links 3/28/2016 - 4/1/2016

This Week in Restoring Family Links 3/28/2016 - 4/1/2016

This week, Europe saw dramatic changes in the flows of migrants and refugees reaching its shores from the Middle East and North Africa. Over the course of the month, March saw the number of arrivals halve from what they were in February, from 57,000 to 25,000 new arrivals. Yet, the last week in particular has seen contrasting trends, with Italy rescuing 1,482 migrants over two days off the coast of Libya, indicating that arrivals along the North Africa - Italy route are on the rise. Further supporting this observation comes yesterday's tragic sinking of a dinghy carrying about 100 migrants from Libya sinking in the Mediterranean, with the total number dead so far unknown. In Greece, the numbers of arrivals entering from Turkey had drastically reduced as well, with only about 1,000 entering from Turkey per day compared to about 2,000 per day over the past few months. 

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This Week in Restoring Family Links News 04/11/2015 - 04/17/2015

Do you follow @intlfamilylinks (Restoring Family Links’ account) on Twitter? See an interesting article but just don’t have the time to read it? “This Week in RFL News” is a weekly blog segment that highlights and summarizes some of the news items posted by RFL’s twitter.

Holocaust Remembrance Day: Yom HaShoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, was this week from the evening of Wednesday, April 15th to the evening of Thursday, April 16th. This day is set aside to honor and remember the 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust. Around the world, millions recognize the importance of this day as an opportunity to stand against anti-Semitism and the hate that divides humanity. It is also an important opportunity to discuss the legacy of those who survived the atrocities committed during World War II, and how future generations should and can combat genocide and prejudice.

In recognition of this day of remembrance, the American Red Cross’ Restoring Family Links program held an event in honor of victims and survivors of the Holocaust. Rabbi Levi Shemtov, a well-respected and world renowned leader in the Jewish community led a candle lighting ceremony remembering the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust. The event highlighted a campaign encouraging interaction between youth and Holocaust survivors to help ensure that their legacy and hopes for the future live on in future generations. Three youth who participated in the campaign participated in a discussion about their experience.

To watch the full event, please click here.

Refugees in Kenya: Kenya’s second in-command recently released an ultimatum to the United Nations – resettle our refugees, or the Kenyan government will relocate them. While Kenya has been negotiating the resettlement of its Somali refugees for years, this push comes largely as a response to the Garissa University attack, where al-Shabaab, a terrorist organization, killed 147 students. The Dadaab refugee where more than 600,000 refugees reside, is believed by the Kenyan government to support al-Shabaab. The threat has alarmed both refugee communities and the UN Refugee Agency, both of which believe Somalia to be unprepared, and in many places still unsafe, for resettlement.

Conflict in Nigeria: One year ago, the insurgent group, Boko Haram kidnapped 219 schoolgirls. While hope is dwindling for their return, the “Bring Back our Girls” campaign continues to fight to ensure they will not be forgotten. Since the beginning of the insurgency in northeastern Nigeria, over 800,000 children have been displaced by fighting. Many have fled to neighboring Niger, Chad, or Cameroon, while other remain displaced within Nigeria itself. Regardless of where families and children have fled, the displacement has created a humanitarian crisis. While aid organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, continue their work to protect and aid the displaced, the needs far outreach the available resources.