Presenting: winners of the 2022 Large Family Award and the 10,000 euro scholarship – the Kubjas family of 7 from Saaremaa
The Large Family of the Year Award and the prize of 10,000 euros granted by Bigbank went to the Kubjas family with five children from Kudjape on Saaremaa. The winner was announced and the prize was presented on Saturday at the Large Family Day in Tallinn Zoo that attracted over 900 participants from 185 families from all over Estonia.
A total of 64 families with four or more children from all over Estonia applied for the Large Family of the Year competition organised by the non-profit Estonian Association of Large Families for the 13th time. According to the President of the Estonian Association of Large Families, Aage Õunap, the selection of the winner was difficult as in every year. “This year's large family is very close-knit and hardworking, and has managed to flexibly combine everyday responsibilities with the dreams of all family members. Their positivity strengthens the sense of community, to which they contribute voluntarily with endless energy, and they are also an example for other families with children,” said Õunap, acknowledging the winners.
According to Jonna Pechter, Head of Bigbank's Estonian Business Unit, the bank supports the Estonian Association of Large Families and the organisation of the Large Family Award competition as it regards it as one of the cornerstones of life in Estonia. “As a member of the jury, I believe that the Large Family of the Year 2022 will use this honor and scholarship to continue supporting their children's recreational activities or for developing their skills. It is a pleasure that we can help to support the right thing,” explained Pechter, and emphasised that children's hobby activities are among the priorities in this family, and both the purchase of training equipment and participation in various competitions form a significant part of the family's budget.
The Large Family of the Year 2022 lives at Kudjape on the island of Saaremaa, where mother Reelika and father Margo raise five children: Markus (16), Anni (12), Miiat (12), Ralfi (6) and Ronja (6). As a family, the Kubjas respect a healthy lifestyle, sense of community and volunteering. And this is not the first award won by the Kubjas - at the and of 2021 they won the first Large Family Year competition in the Saare County.
The family's mother, Reelika, volunteers in the Saare County Association of Large Families, together with her 12-year-old daughters. Reelika also helps in the work of the local food bank. Margo, the father, contributes to the functioning and development of the community, having previously been long-time town elder of Kudjape and the founder and board member of Kudjape Development Society. Margo's mission is to make the island fireproof both professionally through his everyday job at the Rescue Board and communally by organising safety days together with the Kudjape Development Society. In 2018 Margo won the Saare County Father of the Year Award.
Aage Õunap says that the Large Family of the Year award is honor and recognition to the large family that is raising at least four children, respects unity and regard children as richness of life. The purpose of the award is to value and recognise healthy and strong Estonian large families and to make them an example for the society. “Large families are the most important foundation of every country and nation. It is important to notice and highlight the contribution of these great mothers and fathers to the society, especially in difficult times,” said Õunap.
The non-profit Estonian Association of Large Families was founded in 1996. The association is an umbrella organisation bringing together families with three or more children. The mission of the association is to ensure that every family in Estonia that is raising several children feels valued and safe. The network of the Estonian Association of Large Families consists of 19 regional member organisations, which comprise more than 3,300 families with three or more children, bringing together more than 12,400 children.