To her clients at Building Bridges Community Support, Astrid Koenig is someone special.
To Community Living B.C., she’s an “inclusion champion.”
Koenig was honoured yesterday by CLBC with a Widening Our World Award. The awards celebrate individuals who are helping to strengthen inclusion across the province.
The WOW awards are just one of CLBC’s initiatives to help fulfill its vision of a future where all people have a strong voice in society and are recognized as contributing members of their communities. There were 40 nominees.
“Astrid’s vision of an inclusive community is the kind of British Columbia that our government continues to work towards:diverse and vibrant communities in which everyone is valued for their own unique abilities. I want to not only congratulate Astrid on this award but also thank her for dedicating 40 years to working towards a better British Columbia,” said Social Development and Social Innovation Minister Michelle Stilwell in a statement.
Koenig was nominated by self-advocate Robyn Appleton.
In her nomination, Appleton acknowledged Koenig for supporting her to organize the group, Sooke Self Advocacy, where people come together to talk about issues, learn about their rights, fundraise, do community activities, and help to educate others about inclusion.
Koenig is also being recognized for her dedication to inclusion of people with diverse abilities of all ages, and for making sure individuals and families are connected to community resources that meet their needs.
“Astrid lives by what she believes in and celebrates the successes of the people she works with. Our self advocacy group,Sooke Self Advocacy, gets us out in the community together where we feel like we are part of something special and have opportunities to try new things,” Appleton said.
Koenig, the executive director of Building Bridges Community Support in Sooke, said it is important for her to be part of the community.
“Over the past 40 years, I have shared this sense of community with many people with diverse abilities. I have learned so much from everyone who has come into my life and truly believe our society, as a whole can benefit, by celebrating diversity rather than just tolerating it,” she said.