The participants of the award presenting ceremony were welcomed by Zygmunt Stępiński, Vice Director of the POLIN Museum and Alicja Pacewicz, Vice President of the Center for Citizenship Education. Apart from members of the Chapter and awarded teachers, among guests were representatives of Children of Holocaust Association in Poland, Dr. Hanna Machińska, Director of the Council of Europe Office in Warsaw and Prof. Irena Wóycicka, Minister for Social Affairs at the Chancellery of President of Poland in 2010-2015. The Award handing over was preceded by the “Historia rodziny Szwarców” (The History of the Szwarc family) performance prepared by students of Junior High School No 3 in Zgierz.
This year’s Award winner Zofia Cofałka works at the Junior Hight School No 2 in Chorzów and the Non-public Senior High School for Adults in Katowice. She is a member of Amnesty International, Leader of Global Education at the Center for Education Development and a School of Tolerance Leader of the Center for Citizenship Education project. She is also a volunteer acting for the people of Global South and Roma community. Zofia Cofałka speaks with her students about global education and fair trade, human rights, Roma community, situation of refugees, as well as history of Holocaust. “You cannot teach and follow in your own life rules other than you teach. Only a reliable teacher is real and only a real teacher can be a role model,” the winner emphasized when she received the Award.
The Chapter has distinguished also ten teachers from all over Poland: Beata Bierówka from Westerplatte Heroes Senior High School No 13 in Kraków, Przemysław Fabjański from Academic Complex of Comprehensive Schools (Akademicki Zespół Szkół Ogólnokształcących) in Chorzów, Hanna Jastrzębska-Gzella from Special School and Education Center for Children with Impaired Vision (Specjalny Ośrodek Szkolno-Wychowawczy dla Dzieci Słabowidzących) in Łódź, Monika Niedźwiecka from Complex of Economic and Mercantile Schools (Zespół Szkół Ekonomiczno-Kupieckich) in Płock, Łukasz Połomski from No 20 Elementary School and Jan Karski SPLOT Complex of Non-public Schools (Zespół Szkół Społecznych SPLOT im. Jana Karskiego) in Nowy Sącz, Joanna Roszak from School Complex of Piarist Convent (Zespółu Szkół Zakonu Pijarów) in Poznań, Mariusz Sokołowski from Rev. W. Rabczyński Junior High School in Wasilkowo, Anna Sosna from No 35 Elementary School in Częstochowa, Bożenna Sucharska from 6th Senior High School in Gdańsk and Małgorzata Wójcik-Dudek from 2nd S. Wyspiański Senior High School in Będzin.
Irena Sendler Award for “Repairing the world” has been granted since 2006 by the Center for Citizenship Education Foundation and the Children of Holocaust Association in Poland. The partner of the initiative is the “Learning Schools” Program. The idea of the Award is to celebrate its patron, Irena Sendlerowa, a Righteous among the Nations, a heroic Żegota activist who saved lives of two and half thousand Jewish children and promoting her values and attitudes. The first winners of that Award were nominated personally by Irena Sendlerowa.