Restoring Family Links: A One-year miracle in the making

Restoring Family Links: A One-year miracle in the making

For over a year, Restoring Family Links caseworkers in the International Services department have been working to reconnect a sister, Lazara, living in Cuba and her brother, Juan, living in the United States. Due to migration, the siblings were separated for over 16 years and not spoken during that time period. That’s why it was a surprise when the sister received two letters from her brother in August of 2014. Reading the letter’s distressing news of his admittance to a mental health facility, Lazara repeatedly sent letters to Juan. Receiving no response after the first two letters, Lazara reached out to the Cuban Red Cross, which contacted the L.A. Region through the International Red Cross. Lazara requested our services in the form of a Red Cross Message to know if he was alive and if so, how and where he was.

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This week in Restoring Family Links: 08/08/2016 - 08/12/2016

This week in Restoring Family Links: 08/08/2016 - 08/12/2016

Olympics: The 2016 Olympics started in Rio on August 5, with over 200 country participants. For the first time in Olympic history, there is a refugee team competing under the Olympics’ official flag. Coming from Syria, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia, these athletes are refugees fleeing from their home countries to escape violence, persecutions, and wars. The decision to have a refugee team to compete in the Olympics was praised as it would help raising awareness of the current refugee plight as well as giving hopes to the displaced populations. 

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This week in Restoring Family Links: 07/11/2016 - 07/15/2016

This week in Restoring Family Links: 07/11/2016 - 07/15/2016

South Sudan: Last week, violence engulfed Juba, South Sudan as military forces supporting President Salva Kiir and Vice President Machar engaged in heavy battles. As the most recent violence caused more than 300 deaths and 36,000 displaced, and major banks and insurers in Africa temporarily close their operations and evacuating staff, the leaders of both sides on Monday night have ordered to have the clashes ceased. On Wednesday, the White House had deployed 47 troops to the country to protect its citizens and the U.S. embassy until their presences are no longer needed.

This is not the first time that the two forces engage in infighting where innocent civilians get caught in the crossfires; the reason why is that the two leaders have embroiled in a power struggle since 2013 when the President accused the vice president of initiating a coup to oust him out of power. As the result, about 50,000 people were killed, more than 2 million were displaced, and 5 million face great food shortages.

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Our humanitarian action in the Philippines (January-May 2016)

Our humanitarian action in the Philippines (January-May 2016)

In central Mindanao and in the Sulu archipelago, fighting between government security forces and armed opposition groups led to temporary displacement of thousands of civilians. Meanwhile, sporadic hostilities continued between government security forces and the New People's Army in eastern Mindanao, leading to the protracted displacement of civilians; while pockets of clashes also occurred in parts of southern Luzon and Visayas regions.

"Families who flee from their homes again and again will not have stability in their lives. This remains a constant concern for us, as are the substantial number of people who are wounded by the fighting or by explosions in civilian areas," said Pascal Porchet, head of the ICRC delegation to the Philippines.

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