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Project information

Reuniting Separated Families

Right now there are 65.3 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes, more than half are children.
Many have mothers, fathers, daughters and sons with whom they have lost contact. British Red Cross can change this and you can too just by helping us to fund this vital work

This is part of our core work and we will continue as long as we are needed

Charity information: British Red Cross

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  • Need


    We want to continue to reunite mothers and fathers with their children. Sometimes families can be divided for several years, not knowing if or when they will next see their children, parents or grandparents. Missing the formative years of a child growing up is devastating and can never be regained. We need your help to trace family members, bring them together and help them integrate in a new country, helping them thrive and feel complete again – a basic human right for us all


    Our 4 key areas of work will bring together mothers & daughters,fathers & sons, separated from each other, often for several years. Refugees fleeing persecution & granted asylum in the UK have an internationally recognised right to be reunited with their family. Red Cross makes this happen. Marie, separated from her 2 children for 4 years said “I can go without money, I can go without food, but I need my kids. It's like your breath

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    International Family Tracing


    »  Our global network in 190 countries uses ‘Trace the Face’ to support people looking for lost family members

    What success will look like

    Increased coverage Using ‘Trace the Face’ to identify anyone who is missing from their family in order to reunite them

    Aim 2

    Family Reunion support and advice


    » Provision of free legal advice
    » Case workers submit applications on behalf of hundreds of families per year
    » Provision of expert supervision by our partners

    What success will look like

    Free legal support available to help additional numbers of people. Refugee families have lost everything and cannot fund the legal advice they need

    Aim 3

    Restoring Family Links


    » Support via counselling sessions to help refugees deal with the psychological trauma of their experience
    » Funding travel costs to enable families to be together once more

    What success will look like

    In 2016 the British Red Cross helped over 2,000 people, accepted by the Home Office under family reunion rules, travel to the UK. 155 of these were children. Increase support

    Aim 4

    Family Reunion Integration support


    » Help reunited families adjust to new culture in a new host country and overcome intense levels of trauma caused by their desperate circumstances

    What success will look like

    Increase on current counselling support and help to adjust to new culture in new host country

  • Impact


    Our success is life-changing for the beneficiaries - to be together is a basic human right. With additional funding we can escalate the core work we do and help more families reunite. We can increase the numbers of people we can help from our current 2,500 at any one time. This makes life worth living again for those that have been forcibly separated from their children, forced to flee their homes and countries, who have lost contact with parents, siblings, children and who have nothing left


    This project is mainly without risk; with the exception that some people who need our help will not receive it, without further funding. It is an already proven successful model. We have been using this model since WW2 and we will be able to provide more support, enabling families to become whole again. Without securing this additional funding, we will continue to do what we do best, but will be unable to reach the growing numbers of people who now need our expertise and support


    When the appeal has concluded, we will be able to report back to donors to show how many more people the funding they have provided can support. We can send them an update of our Reuniting families project

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £90,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £30,000 Integration support could give 70 families support to adapt to life in new country
      £25,000 Cost of flights could fund the flights for 15 families to be reunited with relatives in the UK
      £25,000 Application process could support 42 families through the complexities of the application process from start to finish
      £10,000 Counselling for trauma could fund the cost of a series of counselling sessions to help deal with the psychological trauma
  • Background


    British Red Cross staff and volunteers work from locations throughout the UK. We also work closely with other organisations who help to identify those who need our services. Many people are self-referred. We then use our global network of the Red Cross Movement in 190 countries to identify missing people and begin the process of reuniting families


    People who through no fault of their own, have had to flee a country to escape a variety of atrocities – intense levels of violence and trauma. Those who have been victims of war, who have lost their homes. Right now more than 34,000 people are being forced from their homes every day as a result of conflict, persecution and violence. With so many people on the move, our work is more important than ever before

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Red Cross Movement is unique and based in 190 countries. Our reach enables us to help people in crisis wherever they are, using our contacts and branches to locate and reunite families that have been torn apart on a global scale. We have been reuniting families since WW2 and last year alone we helped to reunite more than 2300 family members from 32 different nationalities with their UK family. We can provide bespoke advice to each case and pro-bono legal support from trained lawyers.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    The Worldwide Global Network Of The Red Cross Movement

    International Tracing, Refugee support and Restoring Family Links


As little as £300 can reunite a child with their parent and £1,200 can reunite an entire family

“I can go without money, I can go without food, but I need my kids. It’s like your breath”