How do Red Cross Messages help reconnect families?

Topics: Worldwide, Finding Family
October 22, 2012

How do Red Cross Messages help reconnect families?

For many refugees and other migrants who resettle in Canada, the stress of their upheaval can be immense. Imagine how much more difficult the adjustment is for those who have a family member is still living in the country they left behind, where they could possibly be subject to persecution or caught up in political turmoil or even an armed conflict.

Through messages sent by the Red Cross, even three short words, “I am alive," may be all that is needed to ease the minds of distraught loved ones half a world away.

The Canadian Red Cross in action

As part of the world's largest humanitarian network, the Canadian Red Cross is a leader worldwide in helping improve the lives of those in need. The Restoring Family Links program of the Canadian Red Cross helps reunite families and help them stay in touch through a range of finding family programs.

Each year, the Canadian Red Cross sends and receives between 500 to 600 Red Cross messages, a crucial role in this essential service.

What are Red Cross Messages?
In areas where postal service or other means of communication have been disrupted due to conflict, disasters or emergencies, Red Cross Messages are a vital resource that allows families to stay in touch with one another.

Red Cross messages provide personal information and family news, and photos and official documents may be enclosed. Although Red Cross messages may be checked by authorities, the letters provide vital information to families about the well-being of their loved ones.

Red Cross Messages and detainees
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which is mandated by the Geneva Conventions to visit prisoners of war and political prisoners in places where they are detained to monitor their conditions. As part of this important mandate, the ICRC also helps deliver Red Cross Messages to individuals held in detention facilities. 

Every message is hand-delivered by the ICRC to the intended recipient, making sure that detainees receive the right Red Cross Message each time. Messages can help detainees stay informed about family news and events, and so help them deal with feelings of sadness and isolation in their captivity.

How you can help
The Canadian Red Cross strives to reunite all family members who have been separated due to conflict, disasters and other emergencies. Regardless of where a loved one may be, with the help of the ICRC and the Global Family Links Network, the Canadian Red Cross plays a crucial role in bringing families together.

With support from generous Canadians like you, the Red Cross is able to continue offering the most extensive and flexible programs worldwide to help restore family links. To make a tremendous difference in the lives of those in need, please donate online or at a local Red Cross office today!