Vontobel fundraising initiative enables digital family links search platform in six more countries

1/18/2021 Reading time: 2 minute(s)

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) felt the impacts of the corona crisis in 2020 – both within the organization as well as in crisis regions. Thanks to the Vontobel fundraising initiative, it can nevertheless deploy the digital search platform for reconnecting separated families in six more countries.


The appearance of ICRC President Dr. Peter Maurer on November 19, 2020 had the intended effect. During the livestream event (click here for the replay in German), he gave fascinating insights into the “Restoring Family Links” program in general and into the digital “Trace the Face” search platform in particular. The result was that employees worldwide donated more than ever before, and Vontobel doubled this amount.

“Trace the Face” will be able to reconnect families across all continents

The Red Cross Red Crescent restoring family links platform reconnects families torn apart by military conflicts, natural disasters, and migration. Due to the worldwide migration and refugee streams, the ICRC aims to continue digitalizing the platform and expand the “Trace the Face” option. The amount donated by Vontobel enables the introduction of “Trace the Face” in six more countries on three different continents.


Georg Schubiger, Head of Wealth Management, and Peter Maurer, ICRC President, at the opening of the internal Vontobel fundraising initiative in 2020

“Trace the Face” is already a success story

“Trace the Face” was first launched in Europe in 2012 and has documented more successes every year since. Today, thirty-seven national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies and eight ICRC delegations are involved in it. The digital search platform gives relatives the possibility to search for family members on the “Trace the Face” website with their own portraits. Vontobel contributed to making this service available on a global scale.

Information campaign in South Africa

South Africa has been part of the “Trace the Face” network since 2019. The ICRC successfully drew attention to the digital search platform there with a broad-based poster campaign:




Thanks to the digitalization of the “Restoring Family Links” program, separated families can be reconnected more quickly. I am delighted that Vontobel is making a significant contribution to this.

Georg Schubiger, Head Wealth Management and patron of the fundraising initiative in 2020



Watch the replay of the livestream with Peter Maurer now in German

Peter Maurer also talked about the challenges created by the climate crisis, why 80 % of missing and displaced persons come from a relatively small number of conflict regions, and how the ICRC is using a hybrid approach to minimize the impact of complex crisis situations.

Learn more about the video in German


Vontobel has been a member of the ICRC Corporate Support Group since 2005

Selected Swiss companies have founded the ICRC Corporate Support Group in order to provide long-term support for the ICRC's new tasks. Vontobel has been a member since 2005. As part of this membership, we are launching an internal annual fundraising appeal in the months of November and December in favor of the ICRC. In 2020, Vontobel made a donation to the ICRC to help mitigate the effects of the explosion disaster in Beirut.