Yesterday I took a ride with Cyrana Gallay, an intern in her first day on the job and Nicole Erwin, an AmeriCorps member working in our Emergency Services department. We were headed to the west side of Columbus to deliver an international family tracing message to a Somali woman. Her brother, living in a refugee camp in Kenya, was attempting to contact her. This is an important part of the American Red Cross International Services program, which is alive and well at Red Cross offices around the world, including yours, here in Columbus, Ohio.
Last year Red Crossers delivered 26 international tracing messages to residents here in central Ohio. According to Community Research Partners, “Somali war refugees began arriving in the U.S. in 1991. Soon after, Franklin County became a popular refugee destination, and today Ohio has the second-largest Somali community in the U.S.” A large portion of the international tracing messages delivered in central Ohio each year are to residents of Somali descent.
Armed conflict and natural disaster leave millions of people around the globe in urgent need of humanitarian assistance every year. Adding to the physical losses, the confusion and chaos surrounding war and natural disasters often separates families when they need each other most. Tragically, when families and loved ones are separated by war or disaster, their suffering is greater. But, through the strength of the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network and the assistance of local tracing volunteers around the world families reconnect. Learn more here.