On the 1st of June 2021 Her Majesty Queen Maxima in the company of His Majesty the King Willem-Alexander announced at Paleis Noordeinde the winners of the Royal Awards: Appeltjes van Oranje. We want to congratulate the winners Ixta Noa, de Zelfregiecentra van Vriendendiensten en Expertise Center Education Care Saba with this recognition for their great work. The Positive SIsters & Brothers were nominated for an Award. We didn't win the Award, but the nomination was a great honor for us. Liako was at Paleis Noordeinde on behalf of the Positive Sisters & Brothers to present us. We would like to thank you all for your support and enthusiasm during the process of the nomination. We also want to thank the Oranje Fonds for the recognition, the selection and the award ceremony.

Our African and Caribbean volunteers were nominated to win a Royal Award. It is called an ‘Appeltje van Oranje’. The Positive Sisters & Brothers were nominated from 250 other projects. On Wednesday 21st of January the voting round was closed. Thank you for your vote, we gatherd 1078 votes together! In the meanwhile there was an online presentation where the 48 initiatives in the race presented themselves and the jury chose 12 projects for the finals. The Positive Sisters & Brothers were with them!

The nomination = Recognition for who you are
The nomination for an ‘Appeltje van Oranje’ from Her Majesty the Queen Maxima menas a lot to the Positive Sisters and Brothers. It is the ultimate recognition for who they are and what they do as a volunteer, regardless their migration history and their living with HIV. It means they are seen and appreciated in the Netherlands for their fantastic work: as an expert, they support fellow migrants with HIV/AIDS. On top of that, the prize would give them the opportunity to show everybody what an asset they are to our society.
We didn't win but much more importantly still, the nomination symbolizes recognition and appreciation. Appreciation for the Positive Sisters and Brothers. But also for all migrant women and men with HIV who are supported by the Positive Sisters and Brothers. It means that you are seen, with HIV and with your background from another continent. That you are appreciated for who YOU are!

Mental strength
The theme of the ‘Appeltjes van Oranje’ this year is ‘Mental Strength’. And our Positive Brothers and Sisters certainly do have mental strength! They prove that again and again: they support others although life is not easy for themselves, either. And, thanks to the Positive Sisters and Brothers, the migrants living with HIV/AIDS whom they support, find (back) their mental strength, as well.

ShivA Appeltjes van Oranje foto 1