Malta wins EU NGO Trophy – Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar
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Astrid Vella, Co-ordinator of the environment group Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA) has been awarded the Special Jury Prize for the “most deserving overall entry” in the EU Awards for Voluntary Work as well as ranking fourth in the public voting with some 12,000 votes. This is a remarkable result for Malta, to have won in the face of stiff competition from all large European countries like England, France, Germany and Italy, as well as candidates backed by organisations like Red Cross and Medecins sans Frontieres.
Ms Vella, viewed the result as a wonderful endorsement of FAA’s work in raising quality of life and environmental health issues like air pollution and water as well as giving a non-political voice to Maltese civil society. Ms Vella was entered for the competition held at the European Parliament in Strasbourg as Malta’s candidate for the European trophy after winning the local award scheme set up by SOS Malta to recognise the invaluable work done by those who volunteer with not-for-profit organisations, charities and NGOs in Malta,
The EU Jury was very impressed by the video prepared by SOS Malta, featuring some of FAA’s project at the Ghalqa tal-Papa farm in Birzebbugia, as well as its efforts to save Ramla, Hondoq and Villa Bologna. The Jury also commented more than once on the fact that during the online public voting, Malta gained votes from countries as diverse as the USA and China, Mexico and the Vatican City.
Coming just a year after the nomination of Dr Katrine Camilleri as the 2007 winner of the Nansen Refugee Award, this prize confirms that Malta can achieve great results in international fora, and reflects very well on the commitment and efforts of Maltese volunteers and non-governmental organisations. FAA hopes that this recognition achieved abroad will encourage more to enter the world of voluntary work and will strengthen the local authorities’ recognition of such work.
Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar