Friday, 23 October 2009

Hey, did I tell you the one about how we got shortlisted to the top 12 projects out of over 100 entries to the How to Make a Difference competition run by the Community Channel . Unfortunately it was once again a case of 'always the bridesmaid, never the bride' (as me mum used to say). Disappointing at first, but once the results were published, we were really glad to see which project had won. Vision Housing .
We'll be contacting them soon to see if we can supply books to them - sounds like just the kind of project we want to work with.

This makes the fourth time we have been runners up in a competition. In 2005 we received a certificate for being in the finals of an Ashoka Changemakers competition. I looked at it today. Nice to have on the wall.
Then in 2006 we were nominated for the Samen Sociaal Prize (Social Together Prize) in The Hague. We all had to have an information table and to give a 5 minute presentation of our projects. For some unknown reason, the MC interrupted my presentation with a question (can you believe it was 'where do you come from?'). I was doing this in Dutch and was sticking to a really tight time schedule.... Well I answered him fast and continued. The winners came on and went wildly over time with their presentation, so it was very clear that they had been chosen as winners from the outset - and another nudge nudge, wink wink between one of the judges and the project at the next table suggested to me that the whole of the afternoon proceedings were little more than a pantomime. Why did they have to put the rest of us through so much suspense? I think there were 10 projects of which 3 got prizes and the rest of us a bunch of flowers.
Then in 2008 we were nominated for a prize in memory of a popular Green Party politician, Ab Harrewijn. Part of the preparation for this one was to have a short film made about the project. These films were shown on TV West, a local station. I think they were shown two or three each week. Unfortunately... we had no control of how the project was filmed and absolutely no say in the final cut, so it was very much up to luck whether or not the journalists understood what you were trying to do.
Well, the good thing was that the final 4 were all invited to The Hague to do a short interview about their projects. The winner received a prize of 5000 Euros and the runners-up 1000 Euros each. Certainly not to be sniffed at and absolutely the most useful prize to date.

So, we are always interested in any possible competitions to gain ourselves worldwide fame and gigantic cash awards ;-)
Well - even a small portion of recognition is very very welcome. I'm not complaining!