Youth for Exchange and Understanding
“Pioneer of non-formal education”
Student of mechanical engineering, youth activist and youth worker from Serbia.
Finds joy and motivation in nature, mountains and camping.
Believes that change starts with youth!
I have been working in the youth work field since 2001 as a freelance trainer and youth worker. Being a member of different network organization’s pools of experts
gave me chance to extend my vision and widen my personal network for cooperation in
all public, civic and private sectors. Sharing information and designing learning is my
passion. I am very motivated and happy to be active in civil society.
My path in life goes on the direction of people’s empowerment, in pursuit of my vision for building solidarity and caring communities, starting from the individual. It all started a few years ago during my EVS experience abroad, where I got hooked to the motivation-for-growth and solidarity-spirit that non-formal education and volunteering developed in me. Ever since, I am seeking ways through which I can better support people in exploring their potential and achieving their goals, as I see that this process also brings value and growth in me.
And so, for the last 2 and a half years, I have been working as a youth worker in United Societies of Balkans (Thessaloniki, Greece) developing and providing educational, volunteering and growth opportunities for young people in local and international levels. Workshops, youth exchanges, training courses, volunteering teams, project management, cooperation with international organisations are some key words that can describe the practical aspects of my work. As for its value, I would say: inspiring motivation, adopting reflection, embracing learning.
My name is Anna and I am 23 years old. I am currently studying Migration studies in my masters degree.
My motivation to work in the field of European Youth Projects is that I personally know how a project can change your personal development, in a great way. And if that is something that I can see in other people taking part in a project that gives me the biggest motivation.
I am a creative person and i can do creative work for hours and hours. I love to cook and like to experiment with different tastes.
I am who I am, first of all because my parents did a great job raising me and because of the years that i have spent abroad. In addition my cultural education studies gave me a lot of new perspective to be a more critical thinker.
The biggest milestone for me was writing and executing my own Youth Exchange Intercultualog, which was held in April 2022. Furthermore my bachelor’s degree in cultural education is a milestone for me.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences from the University of Algarve, as well as degrees in Law and Philosophy, I bring a unique perspective to my work that is informed by a deep understanding of human behavior and social dynamics, enabling me to understand and connect with people from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.
In my current role, Communication Manager at Contextos – Cooperativa para o Desenvolvimento e Coesão Social – I am responsible for overseeing all aspects of communication and social media management, including the development of internal and external communication strategies, and the creation of a wide range of content, from copywriting and video blogs to press releases and podcasts. Additionally, I am the coordinator of the Vitamin D – Contextos media lab, a European Solidarity Corps project focused on community-based cultural and artistic activities.
Throughout my career, I have built strong relationships with artists and other cultural stakeholders, enabling me to conceptualize and implement a wide range of local community-based initiatives and projects. As a lifelong musician, I have a deep appreciation for the arts and understand their importance in creating vibrant and inclusive communities.
Beyond my work with communication at Contextos, I am also involved in several social and cultural projects in the municipality, including the “Açoteia Group – Faro Rooftop” initiative, which aims to transform the rooftops of the city into spaces of culture, citizen participation, and biodiversity. I am also an active member of the facilitation and promotion team for the “Faro Participatory Budget.”
Above all, I am a people person. I believe that communication is the key to understanding and connecting with others, and I am constantly seeking out new perspectives and insights to inform my work. I am committed to using my skills and experience to create positive change in the world and to help others achieve their goals and aspirations.
“At the age of 15, I realized that non-formal education is what needs my formal education to be complete. So, after having BA in psychology, I’m 10 years of actively developing youth work and civic activism at local, national, and international levels. With the support of the municipality, NGO sector, and young people, I established the Youth club in Budva, and soon it became a model of good practice for the other Municipalities in Montenegro.
Therefore, my expertise is in advocating, establishing, and coordinating Youth clubs, fostering young people to participate in decision-making, community engagement, volunteerism, team building, and service learning. Moreover, I have a particular interest in the topic of women’s rights, so I work a lot with youth and minorities in the prevention of gender-based violence and healthy relationships among youth.
Apart from that, I work with parents through UNICEF’s program,,Caring families”. Together with working with youth, working with their parents is making a more significant impact on the family and society.”
The feeling and desire for a more righteous society appeared in me ten years ago, and that is the main thing that encouraged me on the path of personal development, learning, and the creation of a better environment for my peers and me. My first activist steps were in the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights.
Through my activist life and later professional work, I had the opportunity to collaborate with many organizations, dealing with topics that were not popular but were necessary to tackle. During high school, I promoted human rights, reconciliation, and peacebuilding. It was then that I gained my first experience in project work. These experiences, in a way, put me on a path that took me to enroll in the Faculty of Political Science. Along with my studies, I engaged in organizations that encouraged me to go further and evolve my skills in politics, education, youth engagement, reporting within projects, media activism, journalism, film, and others.
This path I chose allows me to share my experience and knowledge with many young people from the whole country and make significant changes. The desire for education took me to international youth work, where I work with organizations that deal with issues of youth, community development, and inclusion. Its important to note that YEU was and still is a major part of my engagement in the international youth work.
Five years ago, I got my first formal employment. Then I was given a chance to work on the development and implementation of programs related to youth education, non-formal education activities, youth engagement, and youth policies. Through my work at the SHL Foundation, I gained some of the most important professional experiences.
Alessandra Grisoni is a dedicated and passionate youth worker with over 5 years of experience in non-formal education activities, focusing on international cooperation, youth empowerment, intercultural awareness, and LGBTQ++ advocacy. She has lived on three different continents, which has given them a unique perspective on cross-cultural communication and understanding.
Alessandra holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a Master’s degree in International Cooperation, and is a certified Intercultural Mediator. Her expertise and education in these fields have helped them develop a strong reputation for their ability to inspire, motivate, and empower young people from diverse backgrounds, including those who identify as LGBTQ++.
Alessandra is a strong advocate for LGBTQ++ rights and has a deep understanding of the issues facing LGBTQ++ youth, including discrimination, mental health, and social isolation. She is committed to creating safe and inclusive spaces for youth and helping them develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed.
Throughout her junior career, Alessandra has demonstrated expertise in a wide range of areas and she is particularly skilled at developing and delivering training programs on project management, fundraising, youth engagement, intercultural awareness, cross-cultural communication, and LGBTQ++ inclusion.
I am Lilia Khazri a 23-year-old North-African and young social advocate who has been involved in civil society for 5 years. I am an international relations graduate with focus on : international development and diplomacy. People usually describe me as very ” energetic”, indeed, they get it right because I have decided to commit my energy in advocacy and activism, in the pursuit of social change. Making an impact and helping young people develop their skills and upgrade professionally is what keeps motivating me, with the belief that every young person has the capacity to flourish at all levels.
Throughout my humble journey with national and international NGOs , I have developed a plethora of professional skills, including ; intercultural communication, public speaking, project development and coordination, proposal writing, social media management, facilitation and workshop/training design.
A milestone that I am proud of is my passion for the United Nations and speech delivery, that led me to being invited several times as a youth speaker and representative in various UN conferences ( with the Youth Envoy, UNHCR 2021 Racism working group etc). All of this has been my motivation to continue with advocacy and youth work, in order to help youth excell, raise their own voices and act upon injustices in a more intercultural and diverse environment.