Slava Ukraini NGO founder wins European of the Year award

Johanna-Maria Lehtme.
Johanna-Maria Lehtme. Source: Patrik Tamm / ERR

Founder of Ukrainian aid initiative NGO Slava Ukraini Johanna-Maria Lehtme was awarded the European of the Year on Monday.

The award recognizes a person or organization who has stood up for European values, increases the public's awareness of the EU and makes Estonia more visible in Europe.

The award was handed over by President Alar Karis at a ceremony in the Vabamu Museum.

Lehtme said it was difficult to find the right words and that the work to help Ukraine would continue. 

"Walking on the frontline has brought a clear understanding of where the border of freedom is — Russia is on one side and Europe is on the other," she said.

Vivian Loonela, head of the European Commission Representation in Estonia, said: "Johanna-Maria has shown us how everyone can make the world a better place. We are lucky to live in a free Europe."

The European of the Year title has been awarded since 2005 by the Estonian Representation of the European Commission and the European Movement.

NGO Slava Ukraini collects medical supplies and food which is needed by people in Ukraine. It is a citizens' initiative, which was launched with the support of Estonian Rotary clubs.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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