International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

To increase accessibility of services for migrants and their families, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) have officially opened the fourth RedSafe kiosk in Zimbabwe.

The kiosk, located in Beitbridge in the south of Zimbabwe bordering South Africa, is run by Zimbabwe Red Cross attendants and offers migrants a range of services aimed at helping them re-establish and maintain contact with their relatives, such as free calls and internet sessions. These services also include access to the RedSafe app which allows migrant communities to safely store their personal documents (IDs, medical records, education certificates) through a digital vault; access practical migration-related information and alerts, warning users of time-bound specific services such as updates on the vaccination rollout or news of impending floods. RedSafe also allows users to save a copy of their contacts in their digital vault, limiting loss of contact.

"I encourage all migrants to download the app or consult the RedSafe website. Many struggle with practical issues to register their children at school, access health services, get birth certificates, or arrange transport for repatriation. Dozens of organisations are providing assistance and protection to migrants, but they may not know about the vast services available or how to access them. The app bridges this gap." Marie-Astrid Blondiaux, ICRC Protection Coordinator.

Since launching RedSafe in May 2021, the app, which is available for free on the App. Store or Google Play, has been downloaded over 32 000 times. It is also available on the internet. The ICRC and ZRCS have also opened other kiosks located in Bulawayo, Harare and Zaka.

"The opening of this fourth Red Safe kiosk in Zimbabwe, conveniently located in Beitbridge which is the busiest road border post in southern Africa, will bring the much-needed facilities conveniently closer to the migrating population, enabling them to easily access services aimed at restoring and maintaining contact with their families" Elias Hwenga, ZRCS Secretary General.

While the app is a pilot project between South Africa and Zimbabwe, it is also available to those in Botswana, Lesotho, eSwatini, Mozambique, Malawi, Switzerland and Zambia, providing useful and regularly updated information not only for those migrating but also for those who have already settled in South Africa.

Future offerings available through the app will include, the geo-location of services which entails the mapping of important locations and services in a map provided up by the ICRC's Geographic Information System (GIS) and pre-formatted messages in which users can update their status to each other (e.g. "I am safe", "I am still travelling", etc,) as well as include contact details.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

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