An Omaha mother is asking questions about her family’s safety but the answers will require a global network that can reach into dangerous territory.
The search to find answers and a quest to help provide them forms the bond between two people from very different worlds. One grew up in the African country of Sudan. The other called India home until she was seven. Between them they share many similarities, especially now that they both live in Omaha.
Nyakong Machougo told us, "I'm trying to find my mom and my father; my sister and brother."
She admits to getting emotional when thinking about family and said, “I cry every time I talk about it."
With fighting escalating in her country of South Sudan and many civilians in the crossfire, she's worried more than ever.
"I'm trying to find my loved ones,” Machougo said. “So I'm trying to call and can't get in touch. I came to Red Cross so they can help."
We may know more about the American Red Cross connecting families after a natural disaster has split them apart but a program called Restoring Family Links uses its international resources to find out if loved ones are alive, often in war-torn countries.
Unfortunately, the mother of three isn't alone in her quest to find family, to see if they're safe. Omaha is home to the largest Sudanese population in the United States. Some 10,000 live here.
Shweta Goswami is a Creighton Medical student and Red Cross volunteer who said, "I do have family members in India and if something bad happened and I lost contact, this is how I would be trying to contact them too."
That's why Shweta Goswami volunteers with the Red Cross - realizing that the tables could one day be turned.
To support the relief in South Sudan you can make a donation to the American Red Cross. Click here.