Monday 19 May 2008

Mary presents Integration Prize 2008

Crown Princess Mary returned to Vollsmose this afternoon to be present for the handing out of the Integration Prize, 'The Golden Frog', in Vollsmose's new Culture House. It turned out that the prize was awarded to three recipients because it was impossible to choose one above the others. The recipients are community workers Hanne Nielsen, Inger Aagard and Ra Ranunkel Olesen. The recipients of the statuette combined together to re-present 'The Golden Frog' back to a very touched Mary in honour of her own efforts for integration.

Photos © Sonninch Jensen/Fyens Stifstidende,, Finn Skyt and TV2/Scanpix

Crown Princess Mary's speech (in Danish)
The three recipients nominated for the prize, The Golden Frog, have in each their way contributed to the improvement of integration in Vollsmose and to strengthen the bond of identity among the residents, who are marked by a different cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds...
For more than 30 years Inger Aagaard has lived in Vollsmose.
Since 1995 she has been very active in local resident political work. Inger Aagaard is also known as "Mamma Vollsmose", and she has often been a spokeswoman in the media for the neighbourhood. In addition she was a lead figure in the project "Tryghed i Vollsmose". Vollsmose today has a solid democracy in which where the people have the opportunity to speak.
Hanne Nielsen has participated in creating Kvarterløftsstyregruppen, as the driving force in building up a new forum in Vollsmose.
Hanne Nielsen has also been a chairman of the Co-operative Council which is the residents' joint council, and she has very purposefully and persistently worked on a large number of influential projects in Vollsmose.
As chairman of the Co-operative Council Ra Ranunkel fights with untiring energy for the residents to be heard.
He has been both initiator and participant in many projects - offering the residents in Vollsmose the chance to participate in the area's activities, characterise its development and participate in resident democracy.
For me it is with great pleasure to be able to hand over 'The Golden Frog' to you all for your huge efforts to create a safe and dynamic environment for the residents in Vollsmose.
A great big congratulations!
(rough translation!)

Fyens Stiftstidende 'Tre Vollsmose-beboere belønnet med gylden frø' - Three Vollsmose residents rewarded with golden frog
By Anders Mcculloch
Three front line local community workers were today honoured by Crown Princess Mary for their long standing efforts for improving Vollsmose's image and strengthening the neighbourhood. They have worked hard for years to strengthen Vollsmose's image and give the area a face lift. Today
Hanne Nielsen, Inger Aagard and Ra Ranunkel Olesen were then honoured for their efforts. The awards happened during Crown Princess Mary's visit in Vollsmose, where she presented the recently launched Integration Prize 'The Golden Frog' for the three front line community workers. Who can do better than the active residents, the good ambassadors of 'exposed' urban areas, who contribute to healing Denmark, bring their personal qualities along with their wealth of resources and cultures," said the Crown Princess to explain why the three received the prizes of a figurine and 3500 DKK each. The prize was founded by the residents in Vollsmose in collaboration with the Odense Kommune and three local societies, representing Funen's non-profit Cooperative housing society, the home society Højstrup in the neighbourhood, Odense Andelsboligforening. The prize is national and will be distributed during the next three years.

Fyens Stiftstidende 'Mary fik frøen tilbage i Vollsmose' - Mary got the frog back in Vollsmose
The Crown Princess was in a true triumphal procession through Vollsmose on Sunday where hundreds got a handshake from the immensely popular princess.
It was a clearly touched Crown Princess Mary who on Sunday afternoon - entirely outside the programme - received 'The Golden Frog' back.
It was the Integration Prize that the Crown Princess had just presented to three of Vollsmose's most faithful community workers, but the three realized "The Frog cannot be cut open and split into three, we'll give it to Crown Princess Mary who has made an enormous effort for integration in Denmark.
A treacherous little tear escaped from Mary, who quickly had to improvise a speech of thanks.
That the two and a half hour long programme in Vollsmose was extended a further 35 minutes because the Crown Princess took her own good time to greet the [Vollsmose] quarter's residents.

TV2 article 'Mary fik frøen tilbage' - Mary got the frog back
Crown Princess Mary also became an award winner herself when she visited the Vollsmose quarter in Odense.
The Crown Princess was on a visit in Vollsmose to present for the first time the newly founded Integration Prize 'The Golden Frog'.
The prize was handed over to three local residents who besides a frog figurine each also got a personal award on 3500 DKK.
The three prize recipients however soon returned the figurine back to Crown Princess Mary, because they thought that she deserved to honour her efforts for better integration in Denmark.
The three award winners were Hanne Nielsen, Inger Aagaard and Ryan Ra Ranunkel Olesen.
All three are residents in Vollsmose and have in the course of time been active in working to lift Vollsmose and give it a more attractive profile.
The Integration Prize and 'The Golden Frog' was founded by the residents in Vollsmose.
It's a national award though and will be distributed during the coming three years.
Every year a new figurine will be produced for the award winner by the artist Henrik Voldmester.
It's third time that Crown Princess Mary has visited Vollsmose.
Besides participating in the prize giving, the Crown Princess also visited Vollsmose's new culture house, an older community centre and a resident's house.

Fyens Stifstidende photo gallery

TV2 news clip (00:31)
TV2 news clip (03.20)
TV2/FYN news clip (03:13)
TV2 news clip (02:43)

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