This Week in Restoring Family Links News 04/25/2015 - 05/01/2015

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.

Nepal Earthquake: On April 25, 2015 a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal. The quake is the largest to hit Nepal since 1934 and has caused significant destruction and loss of life. At least 50 aftershocks, ranging from magnitude 5 to 6.7, caused further damage to buildings and increased the risk of collapse.  Communications is limited. Hospitals continue to function but are stretched to the limits.

The global Red Cross network, led by the Nepal Red Cross Society (NPRS), has mounted an international response to provide emergency humanitarian assistance following the earthquake. NPRS has extensive experience in responding to natural disasters and plays a leading role in the government’s contingency plan, is providing first aid, search and rescue, blood to medical facilities in the capital and support to first responders. In addition, the Red Cross is helping reconnect families separated by the disaster. The NPRS with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross has stood up a website to search for family or register them as missing. The site is available in both English and Nepali.

Interested in supporting the work of the Red Cross in their response to the earthquake? Here are three great ways to get involved:

GIVE: To help those affected by the Nepal Earthquake, visit redcross.org, text ‘NEPAL’ to 90999 or contact your local chapter.

MAP: To help with critical mapping efforts, visit http://tasks.hotosm.org. No experience is needed, just a computer and internet connection.

SHARE: Spread the word on relief efforts and ways to help online. Find and share information on social channels, including the IFRC's Twitter account and American Red Cross Facebook and Twitter posts. If you cannot contact a loved one in Nepal or know someone else who has lost contact due to the Nepal Earthquake, please share the ICRC Family Links Website.

ECDC Conference: Every year, the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) hosts a conference looking at refugee and immigrant issues in the US with a particular focus on African newcomers. The conference is a great opportunity to learn about the latest trends in refugee resettlement and the latest efforts to meet the needs of refugee and migrant communities both in the US and globally. The Restoring Family Links team had a strong presence there with representatives from both national headquarters and the chapter network. The outreach team also presented on using social engagement to build relationships with partner organizations and refugee communities. Highlights from the conference can be found on the Family Links Twitter feed.