Children sent to Rhodesia and New Zealand
Between 1946 and 1962, 276 British Child Migrants were sent to Rhodesia through the Fairbridge organization. The Rhodesia Fairbridge Memorial College (RFMC) was set up in a deserted airbase outside Bulawayo. A primary school was run in the empty RAF Operation Rooms and the empty ‘barracks’ became the dormitories. After the age of 11, the children attended local high schools.
RFMC was very different from the other Fairbridge institutions in that emphasis was put on education instead of unskilled farm work as that was already provided by low paid native workers. The British Home Children sent there were supposed to be equipped with the skills to fill positions of influence later on in life. However, as the country was undergoing major political change – not many experienced success.
Five hundred and forty-nine British Child Migrants were sent to New Zealand between 1949 and 1954. Instead of being institutionalized or sent to individual farms as indentured labourers, the majority of these children were sent to foster homes. The situations were less than ideal as some were not permanent and there was a lack of proper supervision.