A’oga Fa’a Samoa manager honored
The 2014 royal New Year honours list acknowledges the achievements of 178 Kiwis. Reporter Danielle Street spoke to Jan Taouma who was recognised for her long-standing services to early childhood education.
When Jan Taouma helped open the country's first licensed Samoan language nest she never dreamed she would still be managing it 30 years later.
But thanks to a mysterious nomination the Blockhouse Bay resident has been awarded the Queen's Service Medal to help mark the milestone.
The A'oga Fa'a Samoa early childhood centre started life in 1984 in a community building in Herne Bay. It was driven by a group of parents and grandparents who wanted to nurture Samoan culture in New Zealand.
"My husband and I had just come back from living in Samoa for 10 years and we had a two-year-old child at the time," she says.
"And because I was a school teacher and my husband had been involved with setting up the preschool movement in Samoa we were asked to be a part of it."
Her long relationship with the centre means she has seen generations of families come through the doors.
"I've got my grandchildren coming through there now, so having my children there and then my grandchildren is fantastic," the mother of seven says.
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