Hannah Mankota, Saskatchewan
Moose Jaw Regional Saskatchewan Youth Heritage FairProject:
Home Children: Their Story, Our History
British Home Children were the 100,000 children who were sent from Britain to Canada between the years of 1869 and 1939. Dr. Thomas John Barnardo, although not officially a medical doctor, was a young man of that time who was passionate about helping people in need.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?
Today about three to four million Canadians are descended from these "Home Children". It is estimated twelve percent of Canada's population is descended from "Home Children", representing more than four million Canadians. Canada's British Home Children are a part of Canada's history and they are a part of Our Heritage. The year '2010 was declared The Year of the British Home Child in Canada. A plaque was made as well as a special stamp to honour Home Children.
What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?
British Home Children were treated very poorly and sold as slaves. They were taught to believe that they were outcasts and less worthy than other people. I have learned that most Canadians don't know about "Home Children" even though there are more than four million descendants. I interviewed one descendant of a British Home Child and learned first hand how their own family members weren't aware of her past hardships until she turned 100 years of age.
How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?
Children today are treated way better, more fairly and don't have to work at a young age. Today we have more opportunities such as better education, less starvation, and excellent Family Life. Children in today's society have more freedom and they're never sent away from home or sold as slaves. My Life today is much easier because I'm not having to work at a young age, we go to school, we're able to hang out with friends and our parents take us on family trips to the city to go shopping.