September 21, 2023 Faith Matters

Faith Matters Produces Teaching Materials on the Ugandan Asians & Their Arrival into the U.K

We are proud to announce the launch of the following teaching materials that have been produced by the team at Faith Matters and in partnership with Syeda Ali and Professor Becky Taylor, from the University of East Anglia. We are particularly grateful to Syeda Ali from the University of Cambridge and Professor Becky Taylor from the University of East Anglia in helping Faith Matters to compile these resources for use at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 in schools.

They are, we hope, a valuable teaching resource for teachers when they are looking at issues of social cohesion, citizenship, migration and integration, as well as how the Commonwealth has intersected with British history. These teaching materials tell the story of a community that is fast being forgotten and whose impact on British history over the last 200 years has been significant.

The teaching materials are part of the ‘From East to West’ project that was founded by Fiyaz Mughal – the Founder of Faith Matters and researched by Max Russel. It has been a personal journey for him to document and to collect the stories of those who were expelled and to get the information and pictures into materials that can inform young people about the history of the Ugandan Asians. Mr Mughal is himself, of Ugandan Asian heritage who was expelled from Uganda when he was aged just 15 months, with his family being hosted in refugee military bases such as the RAF base in Stradishall.

We hope that these materials can assist those in Key Stages 3 and 4 in understanding how the impact of the British Empire and its resource needs, drew in people from across the Commonwealth. Many of them were used as cheap labour, inculcated with a sense that they were part of Britain and its Empire, re-settled in Uganda and then forcibly expelled by Idi Amin in 1972. They found themselves at the brunt end of Idi Amin’s anger at Britain, which led to much discussion by the British Government at the time, as to what should be done for the Ugandan Asians.

The sad fact is that Idi Amin was a product of colonialisation. He was brought into the Ugandan army by the Briitish, nurtured and let loose on other Ugandan tribes. He was an enforcer of British rule in Uganda and thereby a by-product of Empire. His impacts were to be felt by the Ugandan Asians who arrived in Britain in August 1972, dressed in clothing that was meant for the heat of East Africa, rather than the cold autumn that was coming in late 1972. These Ugandan Asians, (about 28,000 of them), moved from a land of light, colour and greenery, to the cold, grey and rain of Britain.

This is their story – the story of a displaced people – twice over. Once from India, and then again from Uganda. Yet they have made their home in the United Kingdom, but for many, it has come at a cost of what they lost in terms of their possessions, their memories, their childhoods and their health. This is their story.

Read more: 50 years on, no-one talks about the trauma that affected the Ugandan Asians