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Usha - Kenya

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Visitor Engagement Assistant

I was only a little girl when my family and I escaped to the UK from Kenya because of the threat from the regime of Idi Amin. I remember travelling to the airport in the middle of the night, sad and terrified for our safety, with only two suitcases to our name. We had to leave behind our homes, businesses, and a doll that my father had bought me - because it wouldn’t fit into the suitcase.

As my family had worked on the railways, we were told we could come to England as British citizens – so we did, arriving on a very snowy day in February in the East End of London.

I bow my hat to my parents for taking the risk on what was a new start and a new beginning. That's what the Commonwealth means to me.