Almost 300 former child migrants have been reunited with their families in the UK thanks to the £6million Family Restoration Fund.
The fund was launched by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in July 2010 and is administered and supported by the Child Migrants Trust.
Its aim is to cover the travel costs to help reunite former child migrants who were sent under school-leaving age without their relatives from Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Commonwealth countries.
A number of former child migrants and their families are meeting the Health Secretary at an event today to mark the second anniversary of the Government’s formal apology.
Andrew Lansley said:
As a direct result of the Family Restoration Fund nearly 300 former child migrants have been reunited with their families.
Thirteen years ago as a member of the Health Select Committee, I heard evidence, often tragic and disturbing, of how children had been separated from their mothers and families, and taken overseas, often not knowing their mothers and families were alive.
Almost two years ago I launched the three-year fund on behalf on the UK Government, in recognition of the years of struggle and heart ache suffered by child migrants. I am very glad now to have met some of the families reunited as a result of the fund.
Tony Costa, former child migrant and officer of the International Association of former Child Migrants and their Families (IAFCM&F), said:
At last our need to be with our families is being recognised and made a reality. The fund is a very positive and practical help to us.
Margaret Humphreys, Director of the Child Migrants Trust, said:
The Family Restoration Fund provides real substance to the integrity of Britain’s apology to those who were so cruelly separated from their families and country as young children.
The £6million Family Restoration Fund, which covers the practical costs of travel, is available to any former child migrant who was sent under school-leaving age from Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Commonwealth countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Zimbabwe (the former Southern Rhodesia).