By Meha Jain, International Services Intern, Twin Cities Area Chapter
On Sunday, July 16th, the Red Cross helped sponsor the Twin Cities World Refugee Day in Minneapolis. This event celebrates Minnesota’s refugee population while calling attention to the services available to them. It is held to appreciate and raise awareness on the diversity of refugee experiences, arts, and cultures; and to honor the struggles they face while resettling in a region often vastly different from their homes.
Over the last 30 years more than 100,000 refugees have arrived in Minnesota, including some of the largest Hmong, Somali, Karen, and Liberian populations in the U.S. Other refugee communities that have found a home in the state include Vietnamese, former Soviet Union, Ethiopian, Cambodian, and Burmese populations.
One of the ways the Red Cross helps refugees is through their Reconnecting Family Links (RFL) program. RFL is a free service that aims to reconnect families or loved ones that have been separated by international crises. It works towards this by delivering messages, conducting local searches, providing certificates of detention, and connecting with overseas organisations for assistance. These activities are done either locally or internationally, subject to where the requests/inquiries arrive from. For more information on RFL, follow the link below: http://www.redcross.org/about-us/our-work/international-services/reconnecting-families