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The German Senior Citizens’ Awards 2012 were announced on November 29 at a ceremony held in the Robert Bosch Foundation’s headquarters in Berlin and hosted by Jörg Thadeusz.
Germany’s Federal Minister for Family Affairs and patron of the awards, Kristina Schröder, was in charge of handing out the prizes to the winners: the City of Rödental, in the category of Ideas for Seniors, and the Association for International Youth Work Frankfurt am Main, in the category of Ideas from Seniors, for its JUSTAment project. The Otto Mühlschlegel Prize was awarded to Ursula Lehr, born in 1930 and considered one of the pioneers and most outstanding researchers in the field of Gerontology.
According to the Jury, the City of Rödental “is facing the challenges posed by demographic change in an exemplary and trend-setting manner”. They highlight that In Rödental the idea of a “caring community” where people assume responsibility for others is put into practice and lived out each and every day. At the same time, their efforts are geared toward keeping senior citizens (including near-centenarians) active and allowing them to live independently.
The project JUSTAment “is a perfect example of the active contribution being made by senior citizens to inter-generational solidarity. Through their volunteer work, by passing on their knowledge, and as a result of their professional and life experience, the Senior Partners are improving young people’s future prospects and promoting their social integration”, remarked the Jury.
Some 150 guests attended the event in Berlin, included high-profile representatives from the worlds of politics, business, science, civil society, and culture. Background music was provided by the Swing Trio, fronted by 81-year-old jazz singer Ruth Hohmann. During the ceremony, scenes and images of ageing and life as a senior citizen were provided by the FWT Cologne’s Senior Citizen’s Theatre.
The German Senior Citizens’ Awards are being held for the first time in 2012, to mark the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.The competition carries awards for a total value of 120,000 Euros.