RedSafe to help families affected by migration

THE International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has launched a free, digital humanitarian platform for people affected by migration, armed conflict and other situations of violence to safely store copies of passports, medical records and other important paperwork.  

The application is being piloted by Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) and South African Red Cross Society (SARCS), with technical and financial support coming from ICRC. 

“As part of the global Red Cross Movement, the ZRCS continues to offer the Restoration of Family Links programme which seeks to prevent family separation, restore and maintain family contact, reunite families and clarify the fate of missing persons by offering the following services for free Red Cross messages, wi-fi services, tracing of loved ones, phone call services, trace the face, RedSafe mobile app and phone charging,” said ZRCS secretary general Elias Hwenga. 

RedSafe is a one-stop platform for information on legal, health, education, livelihoods, and transport services offered by the ICRC, national Red Cross societies, and other humanitarian partners. The platform aims to reinforce the resilience and coping mechanism of affected people.  The pilot platform which was recently launched in Zimbabwe and South Africa contains two services. One is a digital vault for storage of personal documents that can be available offline and downloaded when needed. The app complies with ICRC data protection standards.  

The second service contains reliable information about humanitarian assistance available for migrants and refugees. It also gives details on self-protection measures.  

“The innovative project helps us to maintain proximity to affected communities and always be accessible to them. The coronavirus pandemic highlighted the importance of having a trusted digital connection to the people we serve when physical contact is not possible.” said Marie-Astrid Blondiaux, the protection coordinator for the ICRC regional delegation in Pretoria. 

Partner organisation, the Zimbabwe Migrants Support Network (ZiMSN) expressed confidence at the impact the programme would have on migrant communities.  

“The RedSafe platform will be useful to migrants and refugee seekers in many ways. It will help people travelling to South Africa to know what to expect during their stay and where to apply for services.  

“RedSafe is easily accessible because we live in a world of digital technology where many people have access to smartphones,” said Shelton Chiyangwa, the ZiMSN secretary general. 

In Zimbabwe, users can access RedSafe and RFL services at ZRCS kiosks in Bulawayo, Beitbridge, Harare Road Port and Zaka where the team is mobile.  

ZRCS is implementing the RFL programme across the country, with the key areas of operation, in addition to the RedSafe kiosks, being Tongogara Refugee Camp and Plumtree.RedSafe to help