This Week in Restoring Family Links: 2/23/17

This Week in Restoring Family Links: 2/23/17

Portugal: A program set up by the Portuguese Red Cross has helped a single mother diagnosed with cancer. Helena Mateus was diagnosed with cancer 14 years ago which has caused her to retire early. Mateus said “It is difficult to make ends meet, having to pay the rest of the  bills and all the medication I need.” Mateus not only has to provide for herself but her teenage daughter.

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Your contributions help us carry out our humanitarian mission in Syria

Your contributions help us carry out our humanitarian mission in Syria

The Restoring family links works with families to ensure that separated family members are able to reconnect with their loved ones. We have been successful in connecting families since the end of WW2. Currently, we are working with Syrian families that have fled the conflict, and are looking to connect to loved ones abroad or in Syria. 

One of our success stories is when Mohammed was separated from his family for 11 days after fleeing the conflict to get to Bulgaria. 

We also work to provide individuals with psychological support, to help children affected by war. For example, our Turkish Red Cross is currently working with Maria Huseyin’s son Ayham, who is unable to speak. 

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This Week in Restoring Family Links: 2/14/17

This Week in Restoring Family Links: 2/14/17

Yemen: The situation in Yemen is worsening as the fighting due to the conflict progresses. There is worry over the safety of civilians as many remained trapped in the cross-fire. Robert Mardini, the ICRC’s director for the Near and Middle East, said “Civilians are at risk of paying an even heavier price as the fighting continues. We call on all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law.”

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“My dream is to see Ayham talk” - Syrian family’s disabled son gets support in Turkey

“My dream is to see Ayham talk” - Syrian family’s disabled son gets support in Turkey

Maria Huseyin, 37 and her ten-year-old son Ayham are regular visitors at the Turkish Red Crescent community center in Ankara these days. Huseyin said that the life of her family, made up of her husband, four children and their grandparents, has significantly improved since they first visited the centre after the trauma of leaving Syria.

“We were trapped in the house with my disabled son Ayham,” she explained. 

“After we visited the community centre, my three other children were registered for school with the help of the staff.  We also got a medical certificate for Ayham and he is now being helped by social services.” 

The community centre provides a sanctuary for children and adults who have been forced to flee conflict in Syria. They offer Turkish language lessons, courses like hairdressing and sewing, psychological support and therapy sessions, children’s activities, information about rights and benefits and referrals to health services.

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