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Ottawa Regional Fair
Home Sweet Home: A History of the British Home Children in Canada
This projects seeks to bring to light the development of the British Home Child program, the various events with which it is associated, important figures involved during the length of the project, perspectives and experiences revolving about it, and a personal connection to the story.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?
The most interesting thing that I learned about the British Home Children was the fact that from 1869 to 1939, over 100,000 british children were sent over to Canada, yet their story still hasn't received much publicity. Most, especially those in the younger generations, are unaware of the story of the home children, despite the fact that over 10% of Canadians are descendants from them.
What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?
An important lesson that I have learned while researching this topic is that not all stories are one-sided. Perhaps the general idea of an event is static, but every individual experience is unique, and in order to understand it, we must observe every point of view without bias or prejudice.
How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?
British Home Children often ended up in positions of domestic and farm servants in indenture contracts, working all unoccupied hours of the day in the fields, taking care of the sick, or managing the household. Today, our adoption processes have evolved to be more accepting of children, and seek to give the child a better life, without the underlying scheme to use them for a source of cheap labor.