Claudine our very own “Golden Woman”

On the 17th of September, the 19th edition of the “Femme en Or” (Golden Women) award ceremony took place in Nice in the South of France. Created by Jean-Louis Sevez in 1993, the award ceremony puts forward the winning ladies by awarding them a trophy of the Golden Woman.

This year, eleven trophies were awarded to eleven women in different categories in order to celebrate their career, to share their powerful stories, their achievements and their commitment to promote women’s place in the world.

The entire weekend was one filled with emotion, Claudine left for Nice for the nominations of “Femmes en Or” having been nominated as Woman for the environment 2011. Our hopes were high, all of us believed that after two decades spent fighting to protect bonobos, Claudine really deserved this award.

Claudine arrives at Nice train station, welcomed by the mayor, Christian Estrosi.

Géraldine, (one of Claudine’s daughters) and her husband, Robert Facio came to Nice for the wonderful adventure. Claudine was glowing with joy, so pleased to have her children come all the way from Costa Rica to support her for the occasion.

And so the evening began at the Villa Masséna, with a welcome speech by Mr Christian Estrosi, the Mayor and the interviews started the very next morning. A wonderful interview was carried out for the French radio station Europe 1, by Brigitte Renaldi, a journalist fascinated by the bonobos plight and by Claudine’s story. This adventurer’s story is worthy of a true saga… what about the film of life ‘after’ the BONOBO film???

The preparations began, backstage there were hairstylists and make-up artists, preparing all the ladies to meet with the journalists at the press conference. By this point we had found out that Claudine had won in her category… emotions were running high!!!

Claudine, surrounded by the other winners, answered the first questions from the press before the ceremony and receiving the award. This was followed by further interviews and a photo-shoot alongside the other winners and the SNCF, sponsor for the “Woman for the environment” award.

Claudine with Tatiana Trouvé, Woman for Art to her right and to her left, Marissa Balakireva, Woman of Innovation.

The ceremony begins and even though we already know that Claudine IS the Woman for the Environment 2011, the moment is none the less intense, tears of joy run down our faces as Claudine climbs up on stage to receive her trophy from Laurent Boyer, a renowned French TV presenter.

Claudine and Mr Patrick Ropert, Communications Director for the national rail company SNCF, sponsor for the “Woman for the Environement 2011” award

With such a modest account, Claudine charmed the public, once again. She dedicated her trophy to the men and women who work in the National Parks of the DRC, putting their lives at risk everyday combating the poachers. The trophy, hers to share with all the team at LOLA YA BONOBO, and her family who so often had to share her with these hairy and sometimes cumbersome cousins! Accepting the trophy, she of course brought us to think of the last bonobos, able to live free in the vast, wild rainforests of the DRC!

The following day, people from all across the board approached Claudine to convey their emotions, Patricia Loison, Woman of Media, highly interested in Claudine’s work. Various French stars also came to meet her and take the time for a few snapshots, Michèle Bernier, Mimie Mathy (two French actresses) and Adriana Karembeu (model and actress).

Claudine and Patricia Loison, Woman of Média

Claudine and Michèle Bernier, in the background Camille Muffat, Woman of Achievement

Claudine and Mimie Mathy

Claudine with her « Congolese sister » Adèle Safi, Woman for French-speaking, and Jean-Louis Sevez, the creator of “Femmes en or”

All good things come to an end, after such a wonderful weekend, we wish to thank Géraldine & Roberto, for the pleasure of meeting them. A big thanks to all the other “Golden Women” for their kindness: Larissa, Tatiana, Catherine and Adèle who shared this wonderful weekend with Claudine. Also, a big thanks to the SNCF, for sponsoring the award won by Claudine and Havas Sports and Entertainment for perfect organisation of the whole event.

And finally a big thank to you all, nothing would be possible without your precious help!

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