Story of Chagossian Exile in The Independent

chagosMuralUC_5The cold, hard reality of life in exile for Chagossians is laid bare in a new article published by UK newspaper The Independent.  Bernard and Willie Nourrice provide real testimony of the struggle Chagossians have faced to survive since their forced expulsion from their homeland in the late sixties and early seventies.

Bernard recalls how he was “left on the dock” in The Seychelles, forced to find a new life almost 2000KM from the land of his birth. Sadly coming to the UK in 2008, after losing his hotel job in the financial crisis, he found no end to the pain of exile.

“Reaching here, the situation is not what I was told. It’s so painful; we go through so many difficulties….the stress is killing people. On Diego Garcia we were free. Here we are not.” Bernard Norrice


Later in the article Chagos Refugee Group UK Branch Chairperson Sabrina Jean expands upon the difficulties facing the UK Chagossian community in exile. She recounts her own experience, separated from her family and working 17-hour days when she first arrived in the UK. The older, native born Chagossians, dying without a chance to see their homeland again, are also mentioned as a source of sadness. The practical, financial difficulties of finding funds for funerals are another real concern and mentioned in the article.

“When one of our people passes away it’s very difficult for us.” Sabrina Jean


We consider all requests from UK Chagossians experiencing hardship in exile, including helping with funeral costs. See here for how to ask for help.

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