Angola: Reconnecting families displaced by armed violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Armed violence in the Kasai Region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over the past year has displaced thousands of families. Many of these Congolese families fled into the neighbouring country, Angola, and are now based in Lunda Norte province. Some were separated from their loved ones as they sought safety. Here Congolese refugees at Cacanda Reception Centre read information on the telephone service offered by the ICRC and Angolan Red Cross Society to help them reconnect with their families.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Hilton Zvidzayi
  • During her first phone call, Maria Nganza is excited to tell her family in DRC that she was alive. Her son, whom she is holding, was born in Cacanda Reception Centre after she fled violence in Kasai Region. Each family has the opportunity to make two, three minute calls per month to share family news with their loved ones in DRC or anywhere across the world. Over 300 calls are made during the 4 days per week when the service is offered at Cacanda Reception Centre and Lóvua Resettlement Centre.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Hilton Zvidzayi
  • Bernadette Kibwana fills in a Red Cross Message at Cacanda Reception Centre. She could not reach her brother’s telephone number on two separate occasions. She had not spoken to her family for over 6 months and was hopeful the Red Cross Message would initiate the long lost contact. Red Cross Messages are a written alternative to a telephone calls available to refugees in case they do not have telephone numbers of their relatives or the telephone service fails to get through. The ICRC is also present in Kasai Region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will use the last known address of the relative to initiate the search for delivery of the messages.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Hilton Zvidzayi
  • Nathaniel Mbumba explains his journey from DRC to Cacanda Reception Centre in Angola. He crossed into Angola in April 2017 with three of his five children. He uses the ICRC and Angolan Red Cross Society telephone service to speak to his wife and two children back home.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Hilton Zvidzayi
  • “God bless you” is the message P.D.G. Kilabi (on the right) had to give to the ICRC and Angolan Red Cross Society after being reunited with his elder brother, Kimbadi Jean Boslo, in Angola. ICRC met P.D.G. 11 days after he fled violence in DRC and arrived in Angola. The ICRC and Angolan Red Cross Society were able to provide a phone call to his brother who was already in Angola. The reunification took place the following day, 16 years after their last contact.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Hilton Zvidzayi