The Raoul Wallenberg Award was established by the Wallenberg Association in 2009 with the objective of setting an ethical standard and a role model for Hungarian social and political life. The purpose of the award is to acknowledge the sacrificial work, the human and community efforts of private persons and organizations, who with their activities and life achievements set an example for their fellow humans in ensuring that human and citizen rights of those, who are disadvantaged or discriminated against in Hungary are respected, in accordance with the human and citizen rights stipulated by law.

The decision on the 2012 Wallenberg Award winners was made by a panel consisting of representatives of the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, the Raoul Wallenberg Association, the National Federation of Local Governments, the Ministry of National Resources, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Secreteriat for Social Inclusion at the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice.

The winners of the Raoul Wallenberg Award in 2012 are:

Eszter DANI
One of the most defining places of service for Reformed Church pastor, Reverend Eszter Dani was the Munkács-community of the Subcarpathian Roma Mission of the Reformed Church between 1996 and 2008. Beside her pastoral work, she could also take part in launching the Roma congregations. Since 2009, she has been involved in Roma missionary service in the capital as a delegated official of the Danube District of the Reformed Church. Organizing summer children’s camps, unique Bible-classes, which by now not only attract the children, but the parents and families as well. The aim of her mission was to provide assistance in life management, healthy living, crime prevention and learning.
She actively participates in overcoming anti-Roma prejudice as an active delegate of the Hungarian Reformed Church to the Roma Coordination Council of the State Secretariat of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice for Social Inclusion. Her pastoral activities, her life achievements make her a role model for her peers with her sacrificial efforts aimed at promoting the cause of the disadvantaged and those suffering from discrimination.   

Ilona Novák
The unique wagon exhibition of the March of the Living Hungary was launched on the initiative of Ilona Novák. The cattle wagon saved from being scrapped in 2004 has been the venue of extraordinary history classes, with documents, memorabilia and photographs trying to portray to young people the tragedy of the Holocaust. The number of Holocaust survivor volunteers is decreasing more and more, but thanks to the work of Ilona Novák young volunteers have been joining her. She takes care of maintaining the technical condition of the wagon, safe access to it, the free use of the railway network and stations as well as security. She is a true teacher. During the course of an extraordinary history class she paints footprints on the floor of the wagon, to convey a sense of what it meant to have 80-100 people travel together towards the death camps. Children stood tight-packed, pressed together and placed the footprints on the floor together. At the end of the history class she suggests that the students stand on the footprints and listen to a 5 minute long song about the friendship of a Jewish and a non-Jewish boy. The wagon exhibition received the SozialMarie prize in 2010.

Erzsébet Pócsiné Sivák
Kindergarten Head Teacher Erzsébet Pócsiné Sivák started working in the kindergarten of Érd-Ófalu where many families hit by discrimination live. She prepares their children with loving adoration for school, community and social life.
Her management of the individual problems of parents and her conflict resolution capabilities have gained her the recognition of parents and the immediate surroundings, as well as that of the city. Nowadays, it is not a problem for children or the staff, or even the parents to accept otherness. She relentlessly searches for kindergarten-age children in her district whose integration is implemented on the basis of integrated plans and rules, and at the same time on the basis of individual development. The result of this is the smooth integration of these children in school. She considers it important to organize programs that are based on local customs. She is organizing family outings from funds collected in order to promote inclusion. The week-long vacation in Zánka was a great experience, money for which was received from a grant.  

Local Government of Hidvégardó
20% of the village population of Hidvégardó in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County are Roma. The cohabitation of the Roma and non-Roma population has been harmonic for decades thanks to the successful employment and community building efforts of local officials. Unemployment does not reach 10%, while 80% of the Roma are employed. The system of public works is proceeding successfully, along with the social land program. The “Every child fed” program and the local sewerage investment were very successful. The community house of the minority Roma population was built with the active participation of the Roma inhabitants. The house is continuously used for training programs, meetings and events. The settlement is a great example of how enduring and committed work to organize the community in a disadvantaged settlement can result in integration instead of exclusion and in the peaceful cohabitation of nationalities.