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PET Members

coordinator

Senior Trainers

Dragana Jovanovska

North Macedonia & France

Srđan Petković

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Carlos Reis

Portugal

Peter Huray

Slovakia

Marija Pantelic

Serbia

Tatiana Nogueira

Portugal

Junior Trainers

Ivana Stojchevska

North Macedonia

Alessandra Grisoni

Tunisia/Italy

Firas Bali

Palestine

Facilitators

Azra Mehmedovic

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Nijat Shukurlu

Azerbaijan

Kamelija Krstikj

North Macedonia

Rim Damess

Portugal

Carlos Reis

Senior Trainer

Born in Faro, the southest city of Portugal, right by the ocean, after finishing a degree in Psychology I decided to be an EVS volunteer and my life totally changed, after my first contact with Non-formal Education. I started working in the Non-formal Education area, always with the thought that it is a powerful tool that should be more used and recognized. 

At the moment I work as freelance trainer and coordinator of international projects and have experience with Non-formal Education methods and tools being actively involved in international training and education since 2010 as an active participant under the Youth in Action / Erasmus+ programme, as a training course attendant, ex-EVS volunteer, youth exchanges group leader, EVS mentor, EVS coordinator and trainer/facilitator.

“Be Stupid” is a rule that stayed with me since my first training long, long time ago and that I try to implement both in my trainings and my life. Being stupid in the sense of totally letting yourself go, embracing what you experience.

Lilia Khazri

Facilitator

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.

Ivana Stojchevska

Junior Trainer

Most of us would say that we are the result of a lifetime’s worth of experiences, both good and bad. Many of us might point to our formative years – adolescence or childhood – in having the most influence on shaping our life’s journey, but what am I today is the result of my own opinion and believe in myself, starting as a language teacher for EVS and then continuing working as a project assistant, certified youth worker, becoming part of the executive board of the organization, becoming member of governing board at Union for Youth Work. I have been working in this sector for almost six years, and I have facilitated different events, workshops, group discussions, trainings, etc. What motivates me the most is working with young people from different ethnicities and backgrounds, mentoring and coaching them, learning new things, doing something for better communities, better involvement of young people. I can say that I am good at coming up with creative ideas to improve something, or make something new, working well as part of a team, finding a way to solve a problem, or overcome a challenge.

Eliana Calixto

Senior Trainer

I’m an Educational Psychologist with training and experience as youth worker. With a post-degree in Psychological Coaching, a youth worker certification, a trainer certification, an Equality trainers course and several other training courses I like to invest on my knowledge, and now I’m doing a specialization on LGBTQI+ topics. Nowadays I’m the Project Manager of Sê Mais Sê Melhor and I’ve worked with disadvantaged youth, was volunteer in several projects with youth and on several communities.

Berat Ezel

Senior Trainer

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.

Zacharias Piazas

Facilitator

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.

Renata Penchova

Facilitator

Renata Penchova is a young enthusiast and activist, co-founder and project coordinator of a local NGO organization Further Together, professor of Macedonian literature, and Young European Ambassador/ YEA on the platform WeBalkans. Also, she is a current vice-curator in the Global Shapers hub in Skopje. She is advocating for topics such as human rights, education, culture, and the environment. Renata is a resilient and empowered changemaker, who accepts challenges.

Anna Karolina Rixen

Facilitator

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.

Shams Sadigova

Junior Trainer

I am a young devoted specialist who considers herself a youth worker and has a big desire to be a change-maker in society with the help of Youth work and Non-formal education. Regarding my career prospects, on the short-term side of things, I would like to become a professional not just in local regions of my country but also internationally, be actively involved in various non-formal education events as a trainer and curator in order to motivate, educate and prepare the upcoming generation of professionals for the rapidly changing community.

Nikolina Bjeković

Facilitator

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!

Ivana Radojicic

Senior Trainer

I’m an activist, youth worker and project manager. My biggest motivation are young people who are willing to step out of their comfort zone and explore the otherness. Having the opportunity to travel and exchange knowledge and opinions with young people from different realities made me more open-minded and gave me the perspective of the world I have today. I have extensive experience in youth work, project management, facilitating youth exchanges and designing workshops for young people. I was the co-author of a number of publications for youth workers.

Adel AlBaghdadi

Senior Trainer

Adel AlBaghdadi, born & raised in Damascus –Syria. I went to Law School for perusing my dream of becoming a diplomat or working in one of the international humanitarian organizations and contributing to the World Peace Building. After a long, risky, physically & emotionally tough journey, I arrived in 2015 to the Netherlands where I’m fortunately enjoying the safety and the freedom. My life story isn’t about what happens to me, it’s about who I become because of it. It’s believing in my dreams and facing my fears that allow me to live my life beyond my limits. Fortunately, I found my “WHY” and shared it with the whole world in this TEDx Talk. “Working together towards a vibrant, resilient and inclusive society, informed & empowered through dialogue” “Impact Maker”, that’s how I boldly call myself; because I make the daily conscious decision to be a part of the solution and not the problem. I am a firm believer in possibilities. I believe in a better future, and I’m determined to create it.

Katarina Vukadinović

Facilitator

“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.”

Tamara Injac

Junior Trainer

I am an aspiring young pedagogist currently researching the role of creativity in education. I have been involved in multiple projects ranging from organising and holding workshops on mental health to developing an outdoor game for teenagers. I’ve volunteered at many different facilities, including creative centers and a foster home. I love working with people, travelling and experiencing new cultures. As a professional, I believe learning is a process of co-construction, as an individual, I believe in self-growth, so what moves me forward is the idea of connecting with others and exchanging experiences in order to make both myself and the world better.

Srđan Petković

Senior Trainer

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

Junior Trainer

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.

Med Amine Sebai

Facilitator

I get motivated by the impact on the world around me, I’m a professional graphic designer and digital painter, i always try to meet people who are looking at the bright side, being a teacher for high school students is my milestone.

Marija Krstevska Taseva

Senior Trainer

Marija comes from North Macedonia, where she has been involved in the youth sector since 2010 in various capacities participating in and creating learning opportunities within non-formal education for diverse groups of learners, advocating for direct involvement of youth in decision-making, and supporting youth participation through inclusive policies. She was the President of the National Youth Council of Macedonia, has a master’s degree in law from the University of Skopje, and she was a scholarship holder at the Human Rights Advocates Program at Columbia University in New York. She works as a project manager, trainer, facilitator and consultant, and she loves working on empowering young people and helping them develop into changemakers.

Azra Mehmedovic

Facilitator

I’m 21 years old student of psychology in Sarajevo BiH, I am global expert in youth work and I am active in NGOs for 6 years now. My passion is being the person that I needed when I was younger. To be a voice and change for youth all over the world

Dragana Jovanovska

Co-coordinators

Dragana Jovanovska is an experienced trainer and educator working with youth and adults, both on national and international level. They are passionate about human rights education, youth participation, education, intercultural dialogue and organisational development.

Dragana is working as a Programme manager in the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU) and is the former Executive director of Center for Intercultural Dialogue (CID).

When not saving the world, Dragana loves to cuddle with animals (doggos – yes please ^_^), watch random series, or play board games with friends.

Valbona Makovci

Co-coordinators

Valbona Makovci holds a BA Degree with first-grade honours in International Relations and Diplomacy from the American College of Thessaloniki and is currently pursuing her Master degree in International Education Management at the University of Ludwigsburg Germany and Helwan University in Cairo.

Previously she has worked in the development and civil society sector with a focus on education in numerous organizations and international development agencies operating in Kosovo some of which include the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Save the Children, OSCE Kosovo, USAID and Peer Educators Network (PEN) local NGO which focuses on youth empowerment and social inclusion of marginalized groups in Kosovo.

She currently works at the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BiBB) in the international BILT project in collaboration with UNESCO/UNEVOC

Yannis Tsotsos

junior Trainer

I identify as youth worker, project manager and young enthusiast. Being on the field around people, working with them, and motivating them to take action and create a better society is what motivated me years ago and what makes me continue working on the youth field. During the past years I have traveled a lot and worked with young people with different backgrounds, which has given me the opportunity to think in a more open-minded way and develop both personally and professionally. As youth worker, project manager and trainer my goal is to give to more young people the opportunity to be part of the non-formal education world and take actions for a better tomorrow.

Kamelija Krstikj

Facilitator

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” a wise man once said. This incredible wisdom motivated me to become my best version, an enthusiastic, dedicated activist, project coordinator and a person always willing to empower young people to become active citizens who can effect meaningful change in their communities.

What truly defines me is my unwavering belief in the transformative power of youth. In the process of education, while I was getting the bachelor’s degree from the Institute of Family Studies, I extensively studied the mental health of young people, so I’m good at recognizing the critical role it plays in shaping their overall well-being and future prospects. Witnessing the resilience and passion young people exhibit in the face of adversity has profoundly shaped my outlook on life. Their drive to make a positive impact in their communities inspires me every day, serving as a constant reminder of the great potential that lies within each individual. My ability to empathize and connect with young people allows me to establish trust and build meaningful relationships. So, that way, by creating a safe and inclusive environment, I always strive to foster open communication and promote personal growth.

My motivation for working with young people stems from a deep-rooted belief in the potential of young minds and the transformative power they possess. I have personally experienced the path of creating myself as a person through informal education and a variety of trainings, volunteer activities and initiatives within the local youth center, so for sure this helped me become a person full of understanding the unique challenges young people face in today’s rapidly changing world, committed to providing the necessary support and guidance to help them navigate these complexities successfully. That’s why my main goal is to stay determined helping young minds to flourish, helping them to develop into resilient, compassionate, and socially conscious leaders who can shape a brighter tomorrow for all of us.

Nijat Shukurlu

Facilitator

A driven corporate lawyer who can successfully identify and carry out priorities in a dynamic and fast-paced setting. Supporting the company with paperwork and compliance tasks related to external and internal conventions. Learns new areas of law quickly, A strong leader who works well under pressure, and understands the complexities of the legal system. Possess excellent interpersonal, organizational and management skills. Strategist, planner, advisor, and implementer with a high level of discipline and organization.

Alaaddine AlRifai

junior Trainer

I am a driven and motivated professional with a wealth of experience in youth projects. I am skilled in proposal writing, project management, facilitation, and training, and I am particularly passionate about utilizing sports and wellbeing tools as catalyst for positive change in the lives of young people. With a deep-rooted commitment to making a difference and a keen understanding of the importance of effective communication, I am dedicated to empowering youth and creating lasting impact in their lives.

Eftychia Paltsidou

Facilitator

Hello my name is Eftychia! I’m from Thessaloniki, Greece! The last years took part in several European youth projects, which gave me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone as a young person, discover new cultures and develop great skills! Due to these projects, being around NGOs, creating my own informal groups, I’ve learned what volunteering and youth work is, met amazing people with goal the youth empowerment, and through the years this became my goal too.

My motivation to youth work come from inspiring people who are making an impact on youth , who helped me as a young person. Meeting young people with super amazing potentials, and getting to see my development though the years because of being present, being part. My aspiration is to create safe space for young people, to build their skills, to empower them, and find their way in life though non formal education.

Working and volunteering in NOGs thought out Europe, I can see in my self now progress in my soft skills, creativity, interest about culture, art, photography, traveling, theater and more! Important milestone for me is my journey to cultivate empathy and understanding, and be a safe space for people around me.

Andrei Serotini

Junior Trainer

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.

Jelena Karać

Junior Trainer

My name is Jelena Karać, I am 27 years old and live and work in Novi Sad. During my sociology studies, I became interested in youth politics and activism. I participated in student protests and debates about the social and political life of young people in the community. My volunteer work began with volunteering at the Youth Office of the Municipality of Temerin and at the Center for Creative Gatherings. During this time I was the initiator of humanitarian and public actions at the local level, as well as cultural and artistic events such as the Temerina Youth Festival and the Youth Creative Fair. I continue my professional career with the project European Youth Capital Novi Sad 2019 Novi Sad, in which I have been involved for five years now. In the first two years, I worked as an assistant to the coordinator of youth activities, coordinating the volunteer base OPENS and working on the design and implementation of the program at the Youth Club OPENS. In the last three years, as a staff member of the OPENS program, I have been involved in the coordination of the school participatory budgeting project “Get involved, find a solution”, in international projects for the development of participatory democracy mechanisms “European Innovative”, “YUPAD” and I am a participatory budgeting practitioner in a global network for “People Powered” participatory democracy. Since 2020, I have been part of YEU PET and participated as a facilitator and junior trainer in several activities for young people on hate speech, discrimination, peer violence, etc.

Irene Yerolemidou

Senior Trainer

My very first experience with non-formal education started as a medical student in the field of Public Health which is something that gave me the space to self-develop as a trainer but mostly as a person and it stills gives me a lot of motivation as a healthcare professional now working with people on an everyday basis.

I have almost 300 hours of experience in training, working with people with different nationalities and different training backgrounds. This gave me the opportunity to explore new training styles and facilitation methodologies, learn more about non-formal education and expand my knowledge in different thematics that I would never assume that I would be working on and have nothing to do with my formal education background.

I am keen on learning even more, being up to date with every initiative in the NFE spectrum, being active in the trainer’s community and provide with my -so far- experience to the pool of trainers.

Link of my trainer’s portfolio: portfolio

Paulina Szymaszek

Facilitator

My name is Paulina, 26 years old from Poland. IT and education enthusiast with professional experience in both IT industry and non-formal education field.

I am particularly interested in socio-ecological transformation and sustainable development. I have been working on designing and developing prototypes of
digital solutions that can help with climate change. My goal is to integrate this experience and interest in the field into youth work. I would like to
encourage young people to explore connections between sustainability, technology and other areas.

Aga Byrczek

Senior Trainer

Experienced trainer, youth worker and passionate advocate for social change. With over two decades of expertise spanning diverse domains, she is dedicated to making a meaningful impact. Holding a master’s in political science, Aga’s deep understanding of political and educational trends fuels her work in interculturality, diversity, inclusion, human rights, and global education.

Aga has facilitated numerous international training courses, engaging with diverse target groups across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Her leadership development work focuses on empowering individuals to effect positive change in their communities. Additionally, Aga has a special focus on addressing everyday violence and microaggressions, promoting awareness and fostering inclusive environments. A prolific writer, she has authored publications and developed engaging e-learning courses.

Raziya Dadashzade

Facilitator

I am Raziya Dadashzade, I am 22 years old, I live in Baku.
Since my student years, I have been interested in the field of youth work and discovered myself in this field. I love working with young people, having discussions with them, teaching and learning.
Learning new knowledge, traveling, getting to know new people and their experiences gives me invaluable motivation.

Ivan Rosa

Senior Trainer

Having a legal background, I see non-formal education and experiential learning as a pure magic unlocking potential that for formal education remains hidden. As a trainer, I enjoy listening to people and helping them grow. I focus on:
  • Participation; trust me, the participatory approach is the future,
  • Entrepreneurship; particularly when targeted to youth
  • Project management; I believe life is a project, trying to write the fairly good one
  • Empowerment; as there is never enough of it

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