Restoring of Family Links


The Restoring of Family Links (RFL) service is a core programme of the South African Red Cross Society.

The programme helps people to re-establish contact with immediate family members after seperation due to armed conflict, natural disaster, migration and other humanitarian crises.

Situations where RFL takes action:

One of the worst kinds of suffering is not to have communication with your loved ones. Conflict and disaster leave more than physical wounds: in the turmoil, panic and terror, family members can be separated in minutes, or sometimes leading to long years of anguish and uncertainty about the fate of children, spouses or parents.

Services rendered by the RFL programme include:

  • Restoring and maintaining family links between separated families through Red Cross messages.
  • Searching for families dispersed due to armed conflicts, internal disturbances, natural disasters and other catastrophes.
  • Arranging and facilitating family reunifications.
  • Registering and follow-up of unaccompanied or seperated children (below 18 years).
  • Assisting the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in issuing travel documents (i.e. education, birth or death certificates).
  • Contributing to the establishment and efficiency of the international communication network.
  • Providing information and referral services.


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