The 3 candidates for the title ‘Nijmegenaar of the Year’ have been announced. With this award, which is presented for the 15th time this time, the municipality of Nijmegen wants to honor people who last year delivered a special performance with charisma for the whole city. The 3 candidates who are entitled to the honorary title ‘Nijmegenaar of the Year’ this time are Margriet Bosma, Harrie Clemens and Emile van der Staak.
As every year, any person from Nijmegen could nominate candidates for the title ‘Nijmegen of the Year’. A selection of 3 candidates has been made from among all candidates. These were presented on Thursday 1 December 2022 to the independent nomination committee and the digital city panel of approximately 3500 Nijmegen residents. The winner will be announced on 9 January 2023 during the New Year’s reception.
The 3 candidates are (in alphabetical order):
Margriet Bosma has worked with heart and soul on a voluntary basis since 2014 as a coordinator in the Food Bank Nijmegen and Overbetuwe. Here she arranges everything within issuing to customers. She does this alongside her paid job as a process engineer in the food industry. Every Friday, plus a lot of extra free time, she can be found in the shed on Winkelsteegseweg or working elsewhere on her laptop to make things for the Food Bank. She leads her people with enthusiasm and a warm heart and tries to steer the case process in the right direction. Where necessary, she helps herself to deliver the last food parcels. In the past year, the number of households dependent on the Food Bank has increased explosively from 750 to 950. Margriet is doing everything she can to cope with this increase and makes sure that extra volunteers are put in and extra issues are realised.
With this nomination, Harrie Clemens symbolizes all people in education who are committed to the interests of students. Especially if education is not a matter of course, for example for people who have fled and are seeking refuge in the Netherlands. Harrie Clemens is retired and was head of primary schools at several primary schools in Nijmegen. When the war broke out in Ukraine, and it became clear that Ukrainians would be cared for in Nijmegen, he devoted himself to organizing education for Ukrainian children of primary school age. Thanks to his enthusiasm, his knowledge and his conviction that these children – like all other children – have the right to and benefit from good education, he managed to assemble a team of (former) teachers and volunteers. In a short time, the educational program was ready, classrooms were arranged, teaching materials were collected and an introduction was arranged for the Ukrainian children and their parents.
However, it is not the first time that Harrie has achieved this – despite his retirement. In the autumn of 2021, he organized classes for Afghan children who temporarily stayed in Heumensoord. Harrie is a rock in the surf for all boys and girls who want to build a new life in our country, and this new life starts in his classes.
Emile van der Staak
Emile van der Staak is the passionate chef and owner of De Nieuwe Winkel in Nijmegen. Emile cooks botanically and he gets his products from the food forest in Groesbeek, where he prefers to sit on a log and think of new dishes. Emile believes that today’s choices determine what tomorrow’s world will look like. That is why he turns ordinary plants into special dishes. His restaurant was named the best vegetable restaurant in the world in 2022 and has been awarded no less than two Michelin stars and a green star for sustainability. De Nieuwe Winkel has also recently entered the top 10 of the Lekker top 100. In addition to putting (gastronomic) Nijmegen on the map, this culinary artist is also ensuring that a whole movement has been set in motion. Various Nijmegen catering companies will now also put fewer animal and more vegan products on the menu. De Nieuwe Winkel is also a breeding ground for people who understand this art and then spread it to other restaurants.
Since the start in 2008, the title of Resident of the Year in Nijmegen has been successively awarded to Said Achouitar (initiator of the Futsal Chabbab voluntary project), Prof. Dr. Sijbrand de Jong (initiator of cosmic sensation), Mia Schoffelen (founder of Futsal Chabbab volunteer project). Nijmegen School’s Cool), Prof. Dr. Bas Bloem (Care Hero of the Year 2011), Roland van der Hoek (Nijmegen4KidsRights), Rob Jaspers (reporter De Gelderlander), Toine Tax (director Doornroosje venue), Hendrik-Jan Derksen (online community Welcome to Nijmegen), Eugenie Aartsen (Foundation gratis2dekansje ), Rhea Elise Khoeblal (organizer Outdoor Play Pianos), Linda van Aken (Vincentius Association Nijmegen), Qader Shafiq (Bureau Wijland), Tim Hogenbosch (forester) and Oscar Hoiting (intensivist CWZ).