June 20th is World Refugee Day. An unprecedented 59.5 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 20 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. Many times in the rush and chaos of fleeing war and conflict, family members become separated. The Red Cross is there to help, providing reconnection services across the globe to help loved ones find each other. In South Sudan, the International Committee of the Red Cross and a team of South Sudan Red Cross volunteers are doing just that through services that include free phone calls, hand-written Red Cross messages for conveying family news, and a photo album of displaced South Sudanese published in a 'Snapshot book'. For these refugees, a simple three minute phone call provides an incredible peace of mind.
To date, more than 112,000 phone calls have been made, 7,700 messages have been hand-delivered and 700 people have been reunited with their families. Photographer Giles Duley recently went to Akobo, South Sudan to document the project and ask ‘If you had three minutes, who would you call?’
All photos © Giles Duley / ICRC