On Wednesday 16 November, Mayor Bruls handed out Nijmegen’s children’s band 2022 to young heroes. It is the seventeenth time that the ribbons have been awarded. There are 4 bands this year.
Hailey Teunissen (12 years old)
For a number of years, Hailey has helped with activity supervision at the care home Zorgcentrum Huize Rosa. She helps with bingo, hands out a snack and a drink and has joined the residents on the four-day walk. Wherever she can go hiking with friends, she also finds it very important and fun to help. This regularly brings a big smile to the residents.
The jury thinks it’s cool and cool that she does fun things with the elderly. And especially the number of years she’s been helping them. Hailey brings a bright spot to the elderly, who are often lonely and is therefore an example for other children.
Byan van den Dungen (12 years old)
Byan is an incredibly sweet and powerful boy who wants to be there for the other, and he is someone you automatically hold close to your heart. Who can still show compassion to others, even though he himself has already experienced the necessary things in his young life.
Byan sometimes visits his neighbors 6 times a year, for example to collect for animal protection, sponsored races, Jantje concrete, children’s stamps and always with a lot of enthusiasm. In primary school, he worked as a reading tutor, took his task seriously and thus ensured that the younger student began to read better. Byan can be serious with a joke at the same time. He respects the other child and helps him in the meantime.
The jury thinks Byan is a great walker. Byan does a lot, is sincere and an example for everyone.
Iker van Meel (age 7)
Iker is already very aware of the world around him at his young age. He is a neighborhood hero and sometimes spends entire Saturdays collecting empty bottles; the profit goes to the Food Bank. The most special thing is his involvement in the war in Ukraine. When the war broke out there, he took it very seriously. Around the corner from him, refugee Kira (now eight years old) came to live with her mother, and he sent Kira a sweet welcome letter and invited her and her mother to dinner. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and Iker did everything to include Kira in everything. It wasn’t easy, because Kira didn’t speak Dutch and Iker didn’t speak Ukrainian. For many children, it is quite difficult to build a friendship with someone who does not understand you well. For the first few months, Kira couldn’t go to school, so Iker came to the door after school to invite Kira to come and play with him. Iker also made posters, which he handed out door to door. ‘Stop the war’ was written on it, in his neighborhood and in his own house you could see them hanging in the windows everywhere.
The jury finds Iker an example for all people. Iker has shown that even small things can make a difference.
Sil van de Kerkhof (11 years)
Sil has been growing her hair for the past three years to donate to the Haarwens Foundation. This foundation ensures that sick children who lose their hair and go bald can wear a real hair wig again. Despite minor bullying and doubt, Sil still persevered and this month his hair had reached the desired length of 35 cm and he was allowed to donate his hair.
The jury believes that Sil is a real go-getter. He did it not for himself, but solely for the sake of another. He is an example for others.
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Adults receive an award from the Queen or the Mayor. But there are also young heroes who do not get the limelight, while they dedicate themselves in a very special way to others or to the city. Nijmegen is proud of these children and therefore believes they deserve a ribbon. Since 2006, the mayor has surprised young heroes with a children’s band. The children’s bands are intended for children between the ages of 4 and 13 who, on their own initiative, dedicate themselves selflessly to Nijmegen or Nijmegen’s residents and have made a special achievement for the community or the city, which makes them an example for others.
An independent jury determined which children received a ribbon. The ceremony was presented by youth TV presenter Klaas van Kruistum.