Chagossian Heritage Visit Feb 2018
Following two visits that took place towards the end of 2017, the third in the expanded programme of Chagossian heritage visits took place in mid-February. The programme of visits is primarily aimed at first generation Chagossians and offers an opportunity for them to visit the islands. This visit saw a group of 16 Chagossians (13 from UK and three from Seychelles) embark on the journey to the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), some to revisit the places they remembered from their youth and others to experience in person the stories of their parents birthplace they had been told.
The programme started with a chapel service of celebration and thanksgiving exclusively for the visiting group of Chagossians and over the week-long stay included visits to Turtle Cove, East Point Plantation (which elicited emotional and happy memories for some of the group who were born on Diego Garcia), and a further church service at East Point Plantation.
Those Chagossians who were born on the outer islands were given the opportunity to visit the outlying atolls of the Salomon Islands and Peros Banhos. They were able to visit the cemeteries on those islands and revisit the locations they remembered as young children.
The visit included a fishing trip off Diego Garcia that ensured the group enjoyed a traditional Chagossian fish cook-out that evening.
We know how important the heritage visits are and we look forward to continuing the opportunity for Chagossians to take part in them. The next heritage visit is due to take place towards the end of 2018 and is primarily aimed at those born on the islands. If you would like to be considered for future visits you can send your details to BIOTFCO@fco.gov.uk along with documentary evidence to show your connection to the Chagos Islands.