Culture lessons for young foreign nationals

Diana Gajek near the Abbey Path premises: Photo (NIKKI GRIFFIN): SG260211-117NG
Diana Gajek near the Abbey Path premises: Photo (NIKKI GRIFFIN): SG260211-117NG

A WEEKEND education centre for young foreign nationals has become the first of its kind to open in Spalding.

Diana Gajek (36) has transformed a former antiques store on Abbey Path into The White Eagle Polish Education Centre.

Friend Bridget Moss (31) will also be running classes in the centre to aid Lithuanian children.

The centre aims to teach youngsters aged from five to 14, the language, culture, history and geography of their Eastern European heritage.

Since it opened last week more than 40 Polish children have made use of the facility, with more than 20 Lithuanian children starting this weekend.

Much of the furniture for the centre has been donated by Quadring Cowley and Brown’s Primary School headteacher Nicola Wilkinson.

Mrs Moss said: “We want to thank Nicola for her support. She has been an absolute star.

“I have children and they can no longer speak with their family and grandparents in Lithuania.

“We want our children to like and know where they are from, but teach them to love this country.

“I work as an interpreter and am often embarrassed to say I am Lithuanian.

“We want to prove we are not all bad.”

It is hoped the centre will provide an opportunity for the children to peruse life, education and employment in the countries of their descent in the future.

Polish national Miss Gajek said: “It is about giving children a chance in the future but we also want to improve the situation in Spalding.

“We want the right mentality for our children to fit into society and this is just the start.”

The centre is looking to expand with help from South Holland District Council and there are hopes that the centre can begin after-school activities and eventually adult language lessons and advice.

• For further information contact Diana on 07473 394435 or Bridget on 07540 311543.