On 21 April 2022 international advocates of freedom receive a Four Freedoms Award for their efforts to promote and protect freedom. The president of the Roosevelt Foundation and King's commissioner in the Province of Zeeland, Mr. Han Polman, announced this today.
The Four Freedoms Awards are presented each year to men, women and organizations whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to the principles which President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed in his historic speech to Congress in 1941. The Four Freedom Awards 2022 go to the following individuals and organizations:
- The award for the Freedom of Speech and Expression goes to the Vietnamese singer-songwriter and freedom of speech advocate Mai Khoi Do Nguyen;
- The award for the Freedom of Worship goes to Indonesian founder and chair of the Mosintuwu Institute Lian Gogali;
- The award for the Freedom from Want goes to Kenyan human rights activist Nice Nailantei Leng’ete;
- The award for the Freedom from Fear goes to Turkish non-governmental LGBTI+ organization ÜniKuir. The award will be presented to the founders of ÜniKuir: Melike Balkan and Özgür Gür.
The International Four Freedoms Award 2022 goes to Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, leader of the democratic movement in Belarus. That was already announced in January.
Four Freedoms Awards 2022 Ceremony
Subject to the then applicable COVID-rules the Four Freedoms Awards ceremony will take place on 21st of April 2022 in the Abbey in Middelburg. The medals will be handed over by Dutch presenters. The program of the ceremony and the presenters of the awards to the laureates will be made public at a later moment. Right after the ceremony the Stichting Vrijheidscolleges will organize a special youth program: the Four Freedoms Meet-up. During this Meet-up young people will have the opportunity to ask questions to the laureates.
The FFA Laureates of 2022
Freedom of Speech and Expression- Mai Khoi Do Nguyen
Through her music and other art forms, Mai Khoi brings to the forefront the importance of freedom of expression, social justice and improving the human rights situation in Vietnam. In her life and work, she emphasizes the right of everyone to make their own choices. Themes that Mai Khoi draws attention to include equal opportunities for women and the LGBTI+ community, gender-based violence, freedom of expression, and the environment. Among other things, she called attention to the poison disaster in Formosa in 2016 that caused environmental damage and had a major economic impact on local fishers. She also contributed to "The Bamboo Talk," a play about caring (for each other and nature) and sharing water, food and friendship. These things, according to Mai Khoi, are essential for a sustainable inclusive society.
Freedom of Worship – Lian Gogali
Lian Gogali receives the award for her fearless and determined commitment to interfaith dialogue and religious freedom in the conflict-torn area of Poso, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Gogali started the Mosintuwu Institute for Women on her own porch. This institute began as a women’s school of peace studies and educates women victims of the Poso conflict to become peacemakers and agents of change. After studying, the women, with different ethnic and religious backgrounds, often choose to play an active role in their village and society in general. Gogali and the Mosintuwu institute encourage women from different villages, ethnic and religious backgrounds to play an active role in their village economy and society in general. The story of Lian Gogali and the Mosintuwu Institute shows how one individual can make a difference and positively influence the lives of many.
Freedom from Want – Nice Nailantai Leng’ete
The Kenyan Nice Nailantei Leng’ete fights for the elimination of genital mutilation. She also promotes every young girls' access to health care and education in her home country. She has saved numerous girls from undergoing genital mutilation and from childhood marriages. She helps them by providing education and strengthening the self-esteem of young girls. Leng’ete emphasizes the importance of going to school and is an inspiration to many girls and women as a result of her work.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic also leaves deep scars in Kenya. As schools were closed the number of teenage pregnancies, child marriages and genital mutilations reached peak levels. Leng'ete breaks many taboos to bring the necessary shift in culture, behavior and beliefs, and is committed to change from within local communities.
Freedom from Fear - ÜniKuir
The non-governmental LGBTI+ organization ÜniKuir fights for the fundamental right of all people to live their lives as equals and free from fear of discrimination or of persecution regardless of their gender identity, sexual orientation and sex characteristics. In Turkey and many other countries around the world LGBTI+ people face discrimination in every aspect of their lives, transgender and homosexual relationships are criminalized and intersex people are explicitly forbidden to express oneself freely.
Although ÜniKuir is still a relatively young organization, its valuable work to support the LGBTI+-community reaches many thousands of people in Turkey and worldwide. Ünikuir works to promote equal access to education, freedom of assembly and speech, equal treatment under the law and prevention of discrimination and hate speech. The organization supports LGBTI+ individuals by trial monitoring and advocacy campaigns, helps to gain access to proper healthcare and provides psychological assistance and counseling. ÜniKuir also gives legal support and guidance, organizes forums, gatherings and workshops and promotes the cooperation between youth LGBTI+ organizations and international and local decision makers.