MIGRATION: FROM THERE

People migrate from one country to another for many different reasons. Some of the participants chose to come to the UK, hoping for opportunities to work for a better life.

I got a little letter... saying... we'd like you to come to the UK, for some UK training... for couple of years. How do you feel about that? So I said oh, marvellous, I mean, chance of a lifetime... I was very excited...I thought... oh gosh I've actually got a chance to go to the UK now, and see the Queen and all the rest of it. Mr. Windsor, from Burma, who arrived in the UK on Valentine's Day, 1957.

Mr. Sian moved from the Punjab, India to live in Erith in September 1960. His wife and children joined him five years later. He said he came:

Mostly for the good life and money... Healthy life. Because, no much progress in India... I feel inside me I must do something and, that's when I left home... To make a better life for my children.

Mr D from Ireland who arrived in 1984 recalls the pressures of leaving home in search of employment opportunities.

I remember I used to think I want to go home from here but I kept going because there were no jobs back home and also I didn't want to go back as a failure.

Others were forced to leave their homes as they fled war and persecution. They came here in search of peace and safety.

We were the backdrops of Idi Amin, lost children should I sayour parents wanted to find a new way of life in the United Kingdom and they were hoping that it'd be better way of life than Uganda, the atrocities, the violence and everything, so we left all that and we came to a country where's there no violence on that scale at all. Mr Patel, who was born in Kampala and brought up in Thamesmead.

Many of those we interviewed spoke of suffering loss and trauma in the events that led to their migration.

I didn't want to come because I was doing very well as a teacher in Uganda but... many people I knew were killed or they fled the country as well. I have seen people being shot dead right in front of me. So it was dangerous. It was dangerous... Asians were given three months to leave and 13th November 1972 was the deadline date...people just left their stuff behind and camewe lost a lot of precious things. Mrs Babraa, Ugandan Asian.

When I came here, I came here as a person who is looking for asylum, to be allowed to stay in this country for the purpose of mere survival... The '83 riots in July 23rd came about which was a shocking environment... people who you thought of as your neighbours and friends were seen as killers and looking...to kill you, so we had to hide and crawl through the bushes and run away...I felt the real fear of cold sweat...to see what, ten people coming with torches and knives and guns towards your home looking for you. That was an experience that I think nobody should undergo. That was a real life threatening experience... That will affect somebody for life Mr Anandraja who fled the anti-Tamil attacks from Sinhala mobs that began in Sri Lanka on July 23, 1983.