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SIAE Awards 2017
Darja Smrkolj from Zagorje ob Savi

SIAE awards for learning and knowledge promotion 2007

Awards to individuals for outstanding achievements in lifelong learning 

Sapana Gandharb from Piran

Proposer: Koper Adult Education Centre


"Nepalese living in Slovenia, Hindu facing Christianity ..." (Exhibition announcement, Mandrač, 19 December 2002)

Sapana Gandharb is another shining example of implementing equal opportunities for all. Born in Nepal in the lowest caste, she had no chances for attaining any education, even though the cast system is more or less abolished. When she moved to her foster parents at 22, she had to start with the basics; she had to adopt new cultural pattern, had to learn the language and the writing... The obstacles, also emotional ones, were bravely and successfully surmounted with learning and support of her close ones. On the Koper Adult Education Centre she had received diligence and perseverance praise for learning achievements at compulsory education for adults. She had finished her secondary education with honours and passed final examination with very good performance. She needed a lot of support in her primary school, but she managed the secondary one by herself. Besides school Sapana continually discovered also her personal talents. She learnt modelling clay, sewing and visited pottery and ceramics courses. In 2005 she had submitted her ceramic products to the commission at Chamber of craft of Slovenia and received her craft permit. The same year she had her first solo exhibition, and has later joined several other group exhibitions in Primorska region and Ljubljana. Now she is making a living as an art and home craft designer and the town of Piran is richer for a shop with attractive ceramic souvenirs. She is willingly sharing her acquired knowledge with others, especially children, for whom she has organised, with assistance of Association of friends of youth Koper, a ceramics course. Sapana Gandharb is an example of culture of dialogue, as she has creatively included herself into completely new social environment, not just passively receiving it, but creatively interfering with it, whether with her designer creations (she has taken part in Christmas crib exhibition), lately also with public speaking (for example in Ethnographic museum in Ljubljana) or with writing for the press about her native country Nepal. All this is boosting her self-confidence and the growth of her personal value.

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