On October 28, 2019 the ceremony of presenting Irena Sendler Award for Repairing the World was held at the Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw. The Award is granted to teachers who are active in their schools and communities, educate in the spirit of tolerance, equality, social solidarity and respect for the others, and inspire young people to act in line with these principles.
This year the winner is Dorota Żuber. She works on integrating Roma children with their peers in a multi-culture day center in Bobrek district of Bytom, where a big Roma community lives. She had been the principal of No.16 Elementary School for twenty years. It was on her initiative that the Amaro Strychos Day Center was established in the once devastated school attic in 2013. (Amaro Strychos is in Romani and means Our Attic). That Day Centre is a place where children and grown-ups can learn about culture and the world, as well as meet, break stereotypes, and build bridges of understanding. The classes are regularly attended by some 45-50 children, including 25 Roma ones. The children can develop their hobbies, play football, practice traditional and modern dance, learn robotics, and also get career consulting.
The Award Committee granted also honorary mentions to the following ten teachers coming from all over Poland: Tomasz Balcerek, dance teacher at Municipal Cultural Center, Piotrków Trybunalski; Hanna Jastrzębska-Gzella, music and revalidation through theater and drama teacher at No.6 Special School and Education Center, Łódź; Krystyna Kolwas, Polish teacher at Kyte Non-Public Elementary School, Sopot; Milena Kościelniak, educator at the day center at No.2 Father Jan Długosz Schools Complex, Kłobuck; Agnieszka Mysakowska, history teacher at No.2 Janusz Korczak High School, Wieluń; Magdalena Rodzinka, biology and life sciences teacher at No.58 Tadeusz Gajcy Elementary School, Warsaw; Anna Skiendziel, history teacher at No. 2 Technical and General High Schools Complex, Katowice; Przemysław Staroń, teacher of ethics, philosophy and culture at No. 2 Bolesław Chrobry High School, Sopot; Katarzyna Włodkowska, Polish teacher at Stanisław Staszic School Complex, Piła; and Kazimierz Wrotkowski, teacher of practical vocational training at Complex of Building Schools, Bydgoszcz.
The Irena Sendler Award for Repairing the World has been granted since 2006 by the Center for Citizenship Education and the Association of the Children of Holocaust. The idea of the Award is to celebrate its Patron, Irena Sendler, Righteous among the Nations, a brave activist of Zegota who saved lives of two and half thousand Jewish children during WWII, and popularize values and attitudes the Award Patron was faithful to. The first award winners were nominated by Irena Sendler herself.
The honorary patronage over the event was taken by Polish Ombudsman. The media patron is Principal monthly. A partner of the initiative is the “Learning Schools” (LES) Program.
Photo by Łukasz Niewiadomski.