Red Cross Stories from Around the World: Reconnecting Loved Ones Internationally After Crisis

This story is the collaborative work of staff and volunteers at the American Red Cross, San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter 

 In 1996, Abdoullah Ngendahimana was  separated from his three sons during the Rwandan/Zairean genocide period. In 2008 and after arriving to the United States, Abdoullah came to the American Red Cross international family tracing services to find his sons. A year later he was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude after learning that the Red Cross search was successful. In 2010,  Abdoullah started the process of bringing his sons to the United States through the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and, in late 2012, Abdoullah was reunited with two of his three sons.  Unfortunately, his youngest son lost contact and a new case has been opened to help reunite the entire family once again.

Abdoullah and his two eldest sons joined the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross on World Red Cross Day to share their story. A group of staff, volunteers and others from within the greater San Diego community gathered to learn more. There was not a dry eye in the room as Abdoullah explained in great detail all of the turmoil they experienced. He was separated from his two oldest sons when they were just four and five years old.  He beamed with pride being able to sit next to his sons and show the crowd what wonderful young men they’ve grown to be.

Abdoullah and his family will be forever grateful for the American Red Cross and the services the organization provides. “I’d like to say THANK YOU to the Red Cross.”

The chaos and confusion of war and disaster can separate families when they need each other most. When this happens, the Red Cross joins the search across international borders, offering a unique service that reconnects families. American Red Cross caseworkers around the U.S. help families locate missing relatives by working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations in nearly every country around the world. Annually the American Red Cross assists more than 5,000 families trying to reconnect with their loved ones in the U.S. and around the world.