December 27, 2023 | Wednesday

“If we create, unify and move around, we are privileged to affirm that we are living “

A profile of Elienta Culaj

Elienta Culaj is a third-generation Young European Ambassador and Graphic Design student at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Pristina. She started her volunteer work back in 2018 and has since started and participated in impactful initiatives for the community. The profile below offers a glimpse of her journey as a volunteer in her hometown Klina and in Kosovo at large. 

Elienta Culaj is a third-generation Young European Ambassador and Graphic Design student at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Pristina. Despite her love for graphic design, volunteering and activism have always been the two things to bring her joy and enthusiasm. Her journey as a volunteer started back in 2018 in her hometown when she was elected Leader of the youth group Klina Youth Chapter that functions within the Youth Center “Ardhmëria” [The Future]. In 2019, Klina Youth Chapter joined the People to People Network and this was a great opportunity for Elienta to present the work of her youth centre in front of the network members in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. “Klina Youth Chapter is an active group that kept me connected to people, other volunteers coming from “Peace Corps” and locals”, Elienta says.

Activities organized within the Klina Youth Chapter in her hometown served as a catalyst for Elienta’s potential in activism and volunteerism. Throughout the years, she has done over 320 hours of volunteer and community work! It is through the Klina Youth that opportunities were open for Elienta to be part of two Erasmus + and European Solidarity Corps programs: The Shake Your Sound program held in Catania, Sicily, and Building a Permaculture Trail held in Steyeberg, Germany. 

Through these two programs, Elienta enriched her knowledge of other cultures. Aiming to unify people through music, Shake your Sound was a Youth Exchange Program financed by Erasmus + that gathered 40 participants around workshops, cultural visits and intercultural exchange evenings. “I learned very much about other cultures, got to meet new people, discovered the differences in each culture and had the chance to discover more about the language and the Municipality of Catania, Sicily,” says Elienta when asked about the impact of this program. 

As part of the Building a Permaculture Trail, on the other hand, Elienta along with volunteers from other Erasmus+ countries, got to work and plant together in a Permaculture Trail.

Furthermore, she continued attending training and workshops on various topics organized by renowned local and regional civil society organizations such as I2Space, LENS space, RYCO< USAID and TruAktiv. She met with fellow Young European Ambassadors through one of the Caravan Trips organized by RYCO, which is how she got the inspiration to apply to become a Young European Ambassador. Being a Young European Ambassador, in Elianta’s own words, helped her expand her connections, through participating in many online campaigns, workshops, festivals and conferences carried out by the European Union, contributing to different key interests such as arts & culture, human rights and EU integration. “Through the Young European Ambassadors Network, I discovered new capacities in myself. I am very honoured to be a Young European Ambassador and stay connected to the Western Balkans, promote my country and keep fighting for human rights”, says Elienta. 

“Mere existence is not sufficient. We must create, unify and move around to affirm that we are living.” is her leading mantra on her volunteer journeys and enterprises.