There’s No Place Like Home.

Firoza enjoyed her early life in a small village in Uganda, where her spare time was predominated by nature, picnicking by lakes and climbing fruit trees. Despite having some disagreements with her father regarding her education, she went on to start building a happy family and life of her own in Uganda.

But Firoza’s family’s livelihood would, unfortunately, come crashing down when Ugandan Asians were suddenly being forced to leave the country. At twenty years old, she had to help shut down the family shop and sell her household items before fleeing to the UK with her husband and baby daughter.

Thankfully Firoza and her family were met with a warm welcome at their camp in Kent. They were given hot drinks and meals, clothes and blankets to keep them warm in the unfamiliar climate. With the help of kind volunteers working at their camp and locals in their area, they managed to secure council housing and find work to rebuild their lives. And finally, after earning enough to buy their own house and having a second daughter, Firoza came to regard the UK as her new home.

Below is an extract from Firoza’s uplifting story.

“Soon after the announcement we tried to sell as many of the goods from our shop as we could, before shutting it down. At one point the army arrived, carrying guns, to make sure we had done so—we didn’t risk reopening it to the public after that. But they would also show up randomly and ask us to open it so that they could help themselves to whatever they wanted. They never paid and we never asked them to. We were all very scared. In fact, when they arrived, we would hide the small children away because they were getting traumatised, convinced that the army were going to kill us. Furthermore, with the shop closed and no income, we had less food and learnt to eat less.

We had to get rid of our household items too. We sat outside our house with our old clothes, toys, kitchenware and furniture, trying to sell it all. I recall lots of women doing this. People couldn’t take it with them and couldn’t afford to post it—many didn’t even know where they would be living next.”

We will be releasing contributors’ full stories at a later date, so please stay tuned for them. If you would like to read a full story now, then please see the first five stories posted here on our website.

This is a project by AFFCAD UK to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the exodus of Ugandan Asians, by collating and archiving the stories of those involved. If you would like to contribute a story, do get in touch here.