It was a strange weather for mid-December. Tirana is so beautiful, especially since it can be really warm, almost like a summer in the middle of the winter. I was never the fan of the winter… From 15th to 18th of December last year, I had that honor to be one of the panelist and workshop facilitators on South East European Peace summit, held in Tirana, Albania and organized by Peace Revolution. Anca Gliga, young leader and peace architect of Peace Revolution from Romania is my great friend and colleague from Youth Peace Ambassador Network of Council of Europe (which member I also was in the time of the Summit). One day couple of months before the Summit, she invited me to give contribution to the programme of it and opportunity to multiply my values and experience in youth work based on peacebuilding education.
Prejudices in Serbia toward Albanian people are, unfortunately, common thing, especially among young people. I am dealing with youth work based on peacebuilding education for almost 10 years now and being quite in touch and being familiar with those prejudices represents responsible task for me to enhance deconstruction of them within young people and re-question their value system. Personally, I have deconstructed mine years ago while being involved in YiA programmes as a participant and meeting so many beautiful people from Albania who became my new family members…
So, I was excited to go to Tirana for the first time in my life as a peace ambassador from Serbia and with great responsibility to deliver activities for diverse profile of participants. I was responsible for World Café event, Workshop on Peace activism in local community and Speech on Regional Cooperation. Each of those activities were exciting and challenging, both for myself and the participants. It was inspiring to see myself in a role of a person who is opening the space for honest discussion about peace in the region and regional cooperation among young people in Serbia and Albania, through conversation about prejudices. Young people from Albania were really open to share their prejudices and also to support me and the group in that process. Some of the prejudices which were delivered for me were: “You are really cool. I have not expected that trainer will be from Serbia and so ok…” “I like that you came from Serbia and be so relaxed. I thought that most of the people from Serbia are nationalists…” “I didn’t expect that you will be so normal…” At the end of my part of the programme, I got many positive reactions and feedback that they were happy to meet me and learn from me since I am coming from the country toward they had many prejudices.
This year I am coming back to Tirana for other occasion. When I got opportunity to do human rights education in Tirana for mixed group of young people from Western Balkan I have said yes immediately! So, you can meet me again during Human Rights Forum in Tirana from 13th to 15th of August this year and we can learn from each other again in the name of peace! I am grateful for each opportunity I got when I need to do peacebuilding and education of young people…
Coordinator of programmes in Youth Work