“Our strength does not lay down in power or money. Our strength has its base in our commitment and persistence. We are proud that you recognized our true sacrifice and fight, not only against the small hydro powerplants at Kruščica, but also against any forms of the oppression, exploitation and degradation of the nature and society”, said yesterday by Ms. Maida Bilal, representative of the Brave Women of Kruščica during the reward ceremony of German Foundation EuroNatur for extraordinary devotion towards the conservation of European natural heritage.
Reward ceremony was held at German island Manau to which participated representatives of the Women of Kruščica, numerous international officials, as also representatives of the civil society sector including a representative of Centre for Environment.
“I hope that we will be a motivator to many women and communities to rise against the oppression. You are giving us strength that what our truly, honestly and instinctively work – is the right way!”, Ms Maida said in her addressing speech.
EuroNatur reward is awarded each year, and some of its winners in the past were Nelson Mandela, Prince of Wels and many others. This year, prestige reward was awarded to Brave Women of Kruščica, as they fought for over the 500 days and nights by blocking the bridge over the river of the same name, preventing the construction of two hydro powerplants
Ms Christel Schroeder, President of EuroNatur Foundation, highlighted that Brave Women of Kruščica become a symbol of the unfaltering resistance.
“Today by “Reward for nature protection” we pay tribute to the resistance initiative. This unthinkably long fight of Women of Kruščica is one of the most exciting stories on nature protection that I experienced. We hand over “Euronatur” to representatives who obviously and visibly fight, but we do not forget all citizens in the community. I enormously respect the courage and determination, persistence and solidarity of this brave and wise community”, said Ms Christel Schroeder.
Anna Wobse, member of the EuroNatur Governing Board also addressed to guests, emphasizing its admiration to the Brave Women of Kruščica.
“They remind us what it means to gather, ask the right questions and resist. They remind us of what is possible and that it is not carved in stone if it has already been poured into the concrete. These women surprised us; they are in front of many of us by its determination. Today, many women ask the questions, whether it concerns free and alive rivers or global climate issues. These women give us hope, and they change the world. Thank you for that!“, said Anna Wobse.
Police brutality, and not even attempts of intimidation made by the investor, did not lead Women of Kruščica to give up from defending the river. In the end, competent court appreciates their objections against planned constructions of the hydro powerplants and therefore finished 18-months protest.
“We are proud of the fight of Kruščica citizens and their success. From its beginning, we supported them, convinced that their unanimity and fight, in the end, will save the river on which they grow up. Women of Kruščica are an example that we need to follow in our fight for our rivers and nature”, concluded Ms Natasa Crnkovic, President of Centre for Environment.