Exceptional freedom fighters receive Four Freedoms Awards online

31 March 2021

On Wednesday 31 March 2021, at 1 p.m., an online ceremony was broadcast from Middelburg, in which the Four Freedoms Awards 2020 were granted to Filipina journalist Maria Ressa, presenter and world improver Sander de Kramer (Sunday Foundation), Religions for Peace (Azza Karam), Mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando and the United Nations (António Guterres).

These extraordinary people and organisations received awards for their extreme dedication to standing up for President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms. The world première of the tribute to the 2020 laureates began in the form of a special documentary film screening. After the official ceremony, viewers could watch a live programme from Middelburg, in which youths talked to these extraordinary freedom fighters. The ceremony can be viewed here.

The organisation is happy that, in the current circumstances, the awards could be handed out in a suitable manner. In a way that does justice to the laureates. Roosevelt’s words remain equally valid today as when he uttered them. Freedom cannot be taken for granted. And Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s ideas deserve our engagement. That is why De Hoop Terneuzen sponsors the Four Freedom Awards with pride and conviction. Certainly in these times, we are extra aware of the importance of freedom from fear and want, in particular.

80 years of the Four Freedoms

It was 80 years ago today, in 1941, that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in his historic Four Freedoms speech, formulated the four essential freedoms that Roosevelt believed were necessary for a sustainable democracy: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. Since 1982, Roosevelt Four Freedoms Awards have been handed out in Middelburg every other year, to people and organisations that stand up for these four essential freedoms in inspiring ways. Former laureates include Angela Merkel, Malala Yousafzai, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Doctors Without Borders, among others.