Sankofa defines Black as being of African descent. People who are seen to be (or self-identify as) Black in a predominantly white society often share a range of cultural references and experiences, which are not easily understood or reflected upon in many existing childcare facilities.
Why a Kita for Black kids?
A Kita for Black kids means that the cultures, perspectives, and realities of Black children will thrive as the central element to the establishment of our childcare environment and pedagogical structure. At Sankofa, we want to instill a firm belief in our children that they matter, that they can be whoever they want to be and do whatever they want to do! Seeing images of people who look like them in the books they read or in the dolls/toys they play with, allow Black children to celebrate themselves. Giving Black children a space where their heritage is the main focus is empowering, not only for Black children, but also for the non-Black children around them.
Isn’t this a form of segregation?
No. Sankofa does not believe in, nor will it practice any methods of segregation. Sankofa is not separating children for the belief of superiority and will not implement activities that would result in the oppression of others. Sankofa aims to be a safe-space for Black children. It’s a place where Black children can freely express themselves without the consequences or fear of feeling unsafe or unwelcomed due to prejudice or bigotry. Sankofa focuses on contributing to building the self-esteem of Black children while simultaneously teaching respect and empathy for others. While we acknowledge that no space is 100% safe or free of oppression, Sankofa’s priority is to develop and maintain an environment where oppressive behavior and tendencies are dismantled creating a safer environment for Black children.
Doesn’t it isolate Black kids from German society?
Black people who live in Germany automatically are exposed to and participate in German society and German culture. Since Black people make up such a small percentage of the overall population in Germany, Black people often have close connections with people who don’t share an African heritage (i.e. friends, associates, family members, etc), which can be a valuable experience as well. However Black people are also subject to systemic racism, micro-aggressions and discrimination from a very young age. Through a safe and educational environment, Sankofa will help prepare Black children to participate in and contribute to the society at large in meaningful and healthy ways!
Is Sankofa a Kita for Black children only?
No. Even though Sankofa’s primary mission is to provide a safe space for Black children and families, we are not an exclusive space. In order to maintain the primary focus of Sankofa, however, decisions about including families and children who don’t share the Black experience will always be made on a case-by- case basis.
We are a non-Black family of color. Is Sankofa the right Kita for us?
Yes. In solidarity with Non-Black People of Color (POC), who face some of the same issues Black people face, we also welcome and accept Non-Black children of color. At Sankofa, we celebrate and value cultural diversity.
We are a blended family with two children, one White and one Black. Can both of them attend Sankofa?
Yes. We are not an exclusive space and we do not believe in separating families. Blended/Patchwork families, adoptive families – all are welcome.
I’m Black, but my child passes for White. Is this the right Kita for my child?
Yes. If you believe that it is important for your child to connect with their African heritage, Sankofa will support you in doing so.
Do parents have to cook and clean?
We have a cook and a cleaning person. You will normally not be asked to cook or clean. We do ask parents, however, to participate in the annual spring cleaning. This is a fun event where we all take ownership of Sankofa and get together with other Sankofa families for a thorough deep cleaning of our facilities.
What kind of parental involvement is expected?
Sankofa is a parent-led Kita (in German: Elterninitiative). This means we rely entirely on parental support in order to provide high quality care for our children. We will go into more detail about this at our information meeting. However generally speaking we regularly need help with the following: annual spring cleaning; help with the upkeep of our facilities and outside space, small repairs, providing child care during staff meetings etc.
Is there an additional fee that parents have to pay?
Yes. In addition to the Gesetzlicher Elternbeitrag (calculated by the Jugendamt. 23 € for children aged 1 year and above), we ask for an additional contribution of 60 € / 70 € / 80 € (according to financial ability).