IFFAMPAC has achieved another level of success in reuniting African families with their missing members from armed conflict. A family that was separated during armed conflict in Congo, DRC-Africa, had three missing children. IFFAMPAC’s regional office in Lusaka, Zambia, contacted headquarters in America, because the parents were believed to be living in America. The headquarters staff located the parents and uncle of the children and had great pleasure in reuniting them.
When the family was separated during the war in Congo, DRC-Africa, the father went to Zambia as a refugee, and was later resettled in the United States through a Refugee Social Resettlement Program. Acting on the information that it received from two of the children during IFFAMPAC’s family identification project activities in Africa, IFFAMPAC continued to gather information through another refugee who was resettled in the United States.
The successful outcome of this reunification illustrates the power of knowledge and the impact made by those who are willing to share their information through networking with surviving families. Countless families in Africa have missing family member. They need to know the truth about what has happened to them. The children of Mr. Rypa Bantari told us about the despair they felt at not knowing where their parents were, and how they walked long distances to reach IFFAMPAC’s offices for information and help.
The parents and uncle cried with joy upon hearing the news that the children were alive and well. They told IFFAMPAC that a day did not go by when they worried if their children were alive, and if so, whether they were being fed and housed. The mental anguish of worry haunted them daily for years. They can now begin to put their lives back together after the ravages of the war that tore them apart.
IFFAMPAC’s Identification of Families of Missing Persons from Armed Conflicts program is helping to reunite families in Africa that have been separated by the ravages of war. We will continue to share success stories of reunification with family associations all over the world.
By: Evans Lombe