DR Congo + 2 more

Bringing children home

News and Press Release
Originally published
May 01, 2001 - The International Rescue Committee, TIME magazine and Netaid.org have teamed up for a project to reunite and reintegrate separated children with their families and communities in the war-affected countries of Guinea, East Timor and Congo-Brazzaville.
In the chaos and terror of fleeing war and civil unrest, thousands of children have been torn from their families. These children are perhaps the most vulnerable victims of war- unable to care for themselves and profoundly susceptible to abuse.

In Guinea, East Timor, Congo-Brazzaville and other countries, the International Rescue Committee is caring for these children, providing emergency health care, shelter, education, and counseling services, and at the same time, working to trace their families and relatives. It's a complicated process, but across the globe, the IRC is making families whole again.

The Bringing Children Home project is a collaborative effort among the IRC, TIME Magazine, and NetAid.org to raise awareness about the issue and provide people with the opportunity to make a difference.

The Netaid.org (www.netaid.org) site provides in-depth information about the regional crises that resulted in thousands of displaced and separated children in Guinea, East Timor, and Congo-Brazzaville and tells the personal stories of some of these lost children. Visitors to the NetAid.org site can donate money for a variety of reunification, reintegration, and resettlement assistance kits specifically designed to meet the needs of refugee children and families. Donations will directly fund the services and items in the kits, which are crucial to identification, reunification and resettlement. The kits start at $28, but any amount can be donated toward the cost of any kit.

For various reasons, some children and families simply cannot go home. For those who are permanently relocated to the United States to begin a new life, the IRC provides vital assistance to help them get back on their feet. The Bringing Children Home project also provides an opportunity for people to help mothers and children re-establish new homes and restart their lives in the United States.

TIME Magazine (www.time.com) highlights these issues and the IRC's related work in its May 14th, 2001 issue. Journalist Nadya Labi's story from Guinea, "A Mother-and-Child Reunion," is available online at http://www.time.com/time/2001/refugees/.

The Bringing Children Home project provides a tangible way for people to directly improve the lives of families who have suffered the consequences of displacement. Please visit www.netaid.org or the "How You Can Help" section of the IRC's web site.

For additional information contact: Roseann Casey (212) 551-0957 roseann@theIRC.org

Media inquiries can be made to: Melissa Winkler, director of communications tel. (212) 551-0972 or Melissa@theIRC.org