How we used your donations in April
All our work is supported by small individual donations from supporters like you, who want to make a contribution to the Chagossian community. So we want to show you just how we've used your donations over the past month.
As you'll see, a little money can go a long way. Please give what you can.
This past month has been a relatively busy one for us in terms of funding requests received, and we've detailed everything which we have funded below.
At the beginning of the month, we funded the hiring of a football pitch for the regular training of young Chagossian football players, as well as funding a coach trip so that they could play a match in Haringey in London.
Sadly, as in most months, the community suffered bereavements. So, on request from families facing extreme hardship, we helped with contributed to a funeral of a Chagossian gentleman here in UK as well as helping Chagossian families attend the funerals of family members who died suddenly abroad. Funerals are hugely important part of Chagossian culture, and as a direct result of the deportations of the 1960s and 1970s, families are frequently split between various countries around the world, and too often living in poverty.
Another fairly regular call is for help for visas or visa renewals, and this April we contributed funds for a lady’s visa renewal application.
Again this is a direct result of the deportation. As Chagossians were not given the chance to be born in their homeland, they do not have access to the UK citizenship that those born in other overseas territories do. This means the second generation born in exile often face expensive visa fees to stay in the UK once they turn 18, or even face deportation from the UK and seperation from their families.
We are supporting Henry Smith's Chagos Citizenship Bill to resolve some of these issues. You can find more information about this here.
We have also been heartened to be able to support two exciting and enriching events planned for the community. One is regular English lessons for Chagossian children in a local Community hall on weekends for the rest of the year. The other is a celebratory evening of Chagossian music and culture in Crawley in mid-May, which some of us look forward to attending.
The total cost of all this was £2000. We keep only small reserves so to continue this work we need to raise a similar amount next month. The whole community is supremely grateful for any and all donations.
Our campaigning work - which takes more of our volunteers' time and energy than money - is pressing those with the power and responsibility to help the Chagossian community to so. But the community needs our support now. We can not wait for others to step up. Anything you can give will make a real difference.