The Young European Ambassadors continue their unique series of online events! Following their online event management webinar, the YEAs have bravely taken on the role of event creators, and have come up with topics that are of high interest to young people across the Western Balkans – the EU, culture, environment, human rights, economy, and youth engagement.
Between December 2020 and March 2021, young people from the Western Balkans, the EU, and the world will be able to tune in and participate in these creative, tailor-made YEA webinars. We have taken you to the world of EU, environment protection and cultural diversity. Now it is time to act!
The times we have lived in since the beginning of 2020 were challenging on many levels – but at the same time they brought out the best from some of us. The fourth in a series of the tailor-made events by YEAs sheds a spotlight on everyday young heroes who changed the world one good deed at the time. The COVID-19 pandemic has proved that young people are key actors at ensuring community cohesion, social solidarity and the natural flow of everyday lives especially for the most vulnerable citizens in our societies.
The event on Youth Solidarity will speak to the audiences from two main angles: institutional and activist. The first panel will tell us about the volunteering programmes that exist for youth and what the EU and WB institutions are doing to enhance volunteering culture in the region. The second panel will feature real-life examples of activism, courage and altruism. Let’s show that actions always speak louder than words!
We are all learning by doing – throughout our lives. And of course, never doubt that a small group of dedicated individuals might even change the world – one step at a time.
Leonor Wiesner, Programme Manager: Youth Policy and Programmes, in charge of Erasmus+; Youth and European Solidarity Corps at the European Commission
Ruard Wallis De Vries, Programme Manager: Youth Policy and Programmes, in charge of Erasmus+; Youth and European Solidarity Corps at the European Commission
Ines Bulajic, Project Coordinator of “ROUTE WB6” at Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO)
Manuell Krasniqi, Doctor and a Volunteer at Community service, Kosovo
Jovana Jacimovic, Young European Ambassador, Montenegro
Maja Kremic, National Director of Novak Djokovic Foundation, Serbia
Dafina Peci, Secretary General of “National Youth Congress”, Albania
Dzana Kapic, President of Youth at Red Cross and a Psychologist, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Blendi Hodai, Youth Activist and a President of Students’ Movement “UNSHM”, North Macedonia
Amina Kaja, Young European Ambassador, Kosovo
Leonor Wiesner studied law at the University of Lisbon, Faculty of Law, where she also lectured. She post-graduated in European law at the College of Europe, in Bruges, Belgium. After a few years in the private sector, she joined the European Commission at the beginning on 1998, where she has been working almost exclusively in the areas of youth, education and culture.
Ruard Wallis de Vries studied Law and Political Science at Leiden University, including an Erasmus year in Athens (Greek politics and history). He joined the European Commission in 1995, where he has been working in the areas of education, training, youth, sport and communication. He is currently working on the new European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, part of the European Solidarity Corps 2021-2027. He is also a keen guitarist, and organises a film festival on Samos (Greece) every summer.
Ines Bulajic has experience in working as a communication specialist with and for different clients from private, public and NGO sector, including Ecorys Brussels, GIZ, EUSR Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, UN Women, USAID, Public Administration International, as well as EU funded projects in the Western Balkans. She has a strong background in communication, project development and management, media relations and event management. Her expertise includes advocacy and outreach campaigns as well as strengthening of organizational capacities. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she is a MBA candidate in Business Communication Management and has a London School of Public Relations certificate. Her passion is communication activism.
Manuell Krasniqi is a medical doctor born and raised in Peja. He finished the Medical University of Pristina, and has volunteered during the Covid19 pandemic. Being a doctor has always been his dream. Manuell’s greatest passion is helping the ones in need. Besides medicine, he was also passionate about his work as a Religion Teacher, a counselor and a youth trainer.
In Jovana’s opinion, experiences and the knowledge of languages play valuable roles in getting to know different people, cultural habits, accepting and respecting diverse ideas, while recognising true values. The programme Städtisches Stiftsgymnasium Xanten in Germany has given her a solid base through which she managed to learn a lot about the EU, which she believes will help her contribute to her country’s development in the best way possible, while supporting Montenegro’s integration into EU society.
Maja Kremic is the National Director at Novak Djokovic Foundation, a non-profit organization registered in the USA, UK, Italy, and Serbia with a mission to change the world by investing in the early years. She is the leader of a group of passionate, compassionate champions who genuinely believe that every child deserves access to quality education everywhere. She has been involved in the activities of the Foundation since its founding. She decided on humanitarian work at the Faculty, with the decision to attend psychology studies at the University of the United Nations, where she had the opportunity to participate in numerous engaged actions dedicated to children.
Dafina Peci holds the position of Secretary General for National Youth Congress of Albania, an umbrella organisation of 112 youth organisations. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences and another one in International Relations. She also holds a Master’s degree in Regional Policy and Security. She acquired a specialisation on Post-conflict security establishments, peacebuilding and mediation. Since 2017, she has been engaged as a Professor Assistant in the Classic and Contemporary Political Philosophy at the University of Tirana. Dafina has also been engaged in the working group to establish Regional Youth Cooperation Office since its very first steps and she has held the position of Albanian youth representative in the Governing Board of this structure for 3 years.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dzana Kapic graduated from high school in Sarajevo. In 2016, Dzana graduated from the Department of Psychology. She is currently in her fifth year at the Faculty of Medicine and a Demonstrator at the Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology. She has also performed two internships in Italy, in Sardinia and in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Dzana has been a volunteer of The Red Cross Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2007. In 2017, she passed the test for First Aid Instructor. She has been actively working as a psychologist with The Red Cross in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the pandemic of Covid-19. Currently, she holds the position of President of the youth section of The Red Cross Bosnia and Herzegovina. She also works in the field as a Psychologist on migrant-related issues and as an on-duty psychologist on the online phone.
Blendi Hodai is an unshakable optimist. He believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together. Blendi is a well-known students’ rights activist in North Macedonia and the founder and president of Students’ Movement “UNSHM” which represents high schools in North Macedonia, since 2017. Blendi is a motivational speaker and he often addresses different youth actions and initiatives on how to start a movement and how to advocate for a cause. He has been a part of the civil society sector for more than four years now.
When she is not busy studying to become a neurosurgeon, Amina Kaja writes poetry that mostly revolves around the themes of human rights, domestic abuse, climate change, and, when in the mood, love. In addition to writing poetry, Amina also loves performing it, often in the form of Slam Poetry – even organising her own event and mentoring other young people. She also draws, paints, debates, plays volleyball, swims, and most importantly, volunteers and participates in every project she can, including working with organisations such as Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), USAID, Youth Initiative for Human Rights, and many others. Amina is a president of USAID’s Youth Advisory Board, ex vice-president and president of her high school’s USAID Career Club, and she once was an integral part of the Youth Assembly of Pristina and Young Ambassador of Pristina.