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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Three young Burundian refugees united with their families in Rwanda

Three young Burundian refugees united with their families in Rwanda

Gérard is 13 years old. He was separated from his parents and then his brother when a wave of violence swept through Burundi in April 2015. He is now a refugee in Rwanda.

"I used sit alone and wonder how I was ever going to find my parents. I thought a lot about my mother because I didn't get to say goodbye to her."

A year later, Gérard and two other boys – 13-year-old Ernest and 12-year-old Eric – were reunited with their parents, brothers, sisters and friends. It was a day full of joy and emotion.

At around 11 o'clock in the morning, the three boys were picked up by the ICRC in Gashora and taken on the four-hour drive to the refugee camp in Mahama in eastern Rwanda. The camp is currently home to some 50,000 Burundian refugees. And that's where their families and friends were eagerly awaiting their return.

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This week in Restoring Family Links 05/16/2016 – 05/20/2016

This week in Restoring Family Links 05/16/2016 – 05/20/2016

SRI LANKA: 22 of Sri Lanka’s 26 districts are still recovering from landslides, mudslides, and floods that have been occurring since the beginning of the week. This has led to the displacement of over 350,000 people. The incidents occur frequently during the monsoon season, but due to the El Nino phenomenon, the heavy rains have become more fierce “for so early in the rainy season,” with signs of continuing for weeks. On May 18, two major landslides in the Kegalle disctrict, which is about 75 miles east of the country’s capital, has caused 58 deaths and buried 220 families so far.

The Sri Lankan government has sent troops to the affected areas to rescue people trapped by the landslides. However, it is expected that the death toll will increase significantly as hopes to rescue the trapped individuals dwindle. Following the landslides were torrential rains, which caused tremendous difficulties in rescue missions and created further risks of landslides. Some of the affected places areas are inaccessible, even by helicopters.

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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 2/22/16 - 2/26/16

This Week in Restoring Family Links 2/22/16 - 2/26/16

Cyclone Winston: On February 20, Cyclone Winston, the worst storm ever recorded in the southern hemisphere, struck the island country of Fiji as a category 5 storm. Tens of thousands of residents remain homeless from the storm's destruction, and many have moved to evacuation centers, waiting for aid to reach them. The current death toll from the storm stands at 42, but the country's National Disaster Management Office warns that that number will likely rise as the island copes with the aftermath. 

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