10th anniversary of Janusz Korczak Kindergarten

Every year, with increasing intensity, we become convinced of the power of the African saying : If you want to go fast, go alone if you want to go far, let's go together. The saying, is a metaphor for the strength that lies in social commitment, in unity and solidarity.

The most beautiful moments of the celebration of the 10th anniversary Janusz Korczak kindergarten in Duadze.
The Queen Obaahema, who stressed the value of community involvement, the importance of education and investment in the youngest generation, who will be the future of the residents.
When we laid the foundations for the construction of the Janusz Korczak kindergarten in the small village of Duaga, in the southern part of Ghana, 10 years ago, no one imagined that the kindergarten would be such a success. As is usual in Ghana in the beginning, big ventures attract a lot of attention, but once the first confetti falls, then you are left alone in your race. Running an education center in a rural area requires masses of persistence, strength, passion and perseverance, that's the fuel for your daily work. It took me a lot of time and patience to understand the cultural context of a community, to convince them when you are from outside their cultural background. I think from both sides. When two distant cultures, like Polish and Ghanaian, meet, there can be challenges in communication and understanding. This is also what happened in my case. However, it was these challenges that provided the opportunity to create something beautiful together. My key to building cultural bridges between Poland and Ghana was mutual openness and respect. From the very beginning, opening up to other points of view and learning from each other was an important aspect. These attempts to understand each other on various topics required a lot of patience. I know that as a team working together (I mean those responsible for running the Janusz Korczak Kindergarten and the Duafe Sisterhood program) we have come a very long way to get to where we are today. Our diversity has become a strength, and our efforts to build understanding between cultures have resulted in beautiful achievements and greater understanding of each other.
Preparations and celebration of the 10th anniversary
Preparations for the 10th anniversary celebration began a few weeks before the planned event. More than once we went back in memory to the history of the kindergarten and all the people who created with us this place. We came up with the idea of organizing a photo gallery to remind everyone how much work we did in creating such a special place for the youngest residents of the Duaga community. The entire gallery graced the walls of the government school where we held our event. The exhibition was met with incredible intrigue, right from the moment of installation, when the children helped us hang the photos, and adults came up and asked what stories were behind the people in the pictures. They recognized their faces, which involved indescribable joy.
Awards and presentation of diplomas
The school's 10th anniversary falls in December, but we decided to hold it a while earlier and combine it with the end of kindergarten for our senior students. This is a very important day for them and we wanted to recognize them in a special way. All children performed in beautiful blue togas and from the hands of honored guests received a diploma of kindergarten graduation and an educational layette for the new school adventure. At the end, the kindergarten children prepared an artistic part for us, which moved everyone to dance together. However, this was not the end of surprises.
Musical and artistic performence
For long weeks, under the watchful eye of the foundation team, preparations were underway for an artistic show prepared by graduates of the Janusz Korczak kindergarten. They put on an incredible performance that told the story of their local customs and traditions and how I Monika Quarcoo - founder of the Start From Ghana Foundation first came to the Duaga village. From their perspective, the children recounted my encounters with the village chiefs and the relationships I formed with them. This was alternately accompanied by salvos of laughter, and streams of tears of emotion poured down their cheeks, all accompanied by the musical accompaniment of a band of local elders.
Honored guests and important speeches
Among the invited guests were the village chiefs, representatives of educational institutions, residents who hold leadership positions and parents who are actively involved in the life of the school community. We specially prepared certificates and badges of appreciation for those especially deserving, without whose support it would be difficult for us to find our way in this local community, and who welcomed us with open arms. When it was time for speeches, the village chief/king Nana Baah I began. Immediately after him, the queen of the village Obaahema spoke. Both emphasized the value of community involvement, the importance of education and investment in the youngest generation, who will be the future of the residents. We were also congratulated for a decade of fruitful partnerships and thanked for those major projects we have carried out over the years as a foundation and the Janusz Korczak Kindergarten. All this would not have been possible without the kindness and commitment of the village authorities. The King and Queen also prepared an extraordinary gift for us to honor our activities with a beautiful certificate.
At the end, it was I who had the privilege to give a fiery, emotional and very personal speech, which described the journey I have gone through from 2013 until today. It was a very important moment for me. I stood with pride and emotion, looking at the achievements of the work of our entire team. The school, which was once just a dream, today is a place of education and hope for many children in the village. This round anniversary meant much more to me than just institutional successes, it was a moment when I could appreciate all the way I had come and be grateful to those who had supported me at every stage of this remarkable journey. I repeatedly emphasize the pivotal role of my family and their support in this journey, without which it would have been difficult for me to persevere.In particular, I am grateful to my husband Eddie, with whom I was united not only by love, but also by a passion to join forces to work together to change the reality around us for the better. This celebration and joy was made possible primarily thanks to the commitment of our team with whom he works on a daily basis and the indescribable contribution of the multitude of people of good will who have systematically and relentlessly for years supported the dream and initiative of the Janusz Korczak Kindergarten in Ghana.

The ten years I've been running the foundation in Ghana are not just about work - they are about love, passion and dedication. It is my childhood dream fulfilled, it is my story that I want to continue and still be determined to make the world a better place for everyone.

Monika Quarcoo

A proverb says that the quality of a journey is measured in the number of friends made, not miles traveled. If one were to think of the process of creating the Janusz Korczak kindergarten in this category of travel, we have created a beautiful Korczakian community on the edge of the world. This friendship has undergone a real transformation, from people who are complete strangers to people who are close to each other, who share moments together and support each other in important moments, and above all teachers, dedicated to the vision of creating a child-friendly space , full of passion and initiative. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being active members, patrons, donors and friends of this community.