February 24, 2022 | Thursday

Jehona Pnishi – the young activist uniting Kosovar culture with French democracy

Jehona Pnishi, born in Kosovo and raised between Kosovo and France, says that she combines the beautiful culture and customs of Kosovo with the democratic values of France, freedom, equality and brotherhood. It is these values that have driven Jehona from an early age to engage and be a vocal advocate for social equality, justice, freedom, peace and democracy. Thanks to her engagement, Jehona has recently been selected as one of the ten Young European Ambassadors.

Jehona has graduated in law and international relations in France, and her engagements in advocacy in these two fields comes both naturally and professionally. Jehona started her voluntary engagement in 2021 by being part of the regional “Youth Peace Lab Competition 2021” competition, where she contributed to the improvement of the education system in the Western Balkan countries.

Gender equality is another topic to which Jehona contributes. She was part of the Kosovar “Ecokoswomen-EKW” NGO as an intern, where together with the team they carried out various activities, such as the campaign to reduce VAT on menstrual hygiene products from 18% to 8%, and the campaign for raising students’ awareness of the menstrual cycle, by displaying 100 posters in schools and health institutions in Prishtina.

In addition to equality and social justice, through her writings on Kosovar history, culture or politics, Jehona strongly advocates and lobbies for Kosovo’s integration into the European Union. Being part of the European continent both geographically and by virtues of European values, Jehona is convinced that Kosovo’s place is in the European Union.

Convinced that women have an equal place with men in the political and social life of a country, Jehona decided to apply to become the Young European Ambassador (YEA) from Kosovo. As a Young Ambassador, Jehona says her mission is to promote European Union values in the Balkans. But for Jehona, this mission goes beyond mere representation. As a Young European Ambassador, she wants to foster change in the Balkans and contribute to the progress of states, especially in the field of human rights and European integration, which are her main topics during her mandate as a Young European Ambassador.

The specific activity in which Jehona is currently engaged as a Young European Ambassador in the field of human rights, is the participation in the organization of the “Zero Discrimination Day Living Library” project, implemented by WeBalkans/YEA at the Termokiss Socio-Cultural Center. The aim of this project is to combat discrimination by inspiring change in our communities in the Western Balkans, across the EU and beyond. The main idea of this project is to raise awareness about discrimination on sexual, gender, religious, health and other grounds, as well as to prevent it, by inviting people to share their stories in the form of a living library.

Through her work various and activities, Jehona says she has constantly tried to be close to young people and help them realize their European dreams. According to her, Kosovo and all Balkan countries in general, are full of talents. Finally, Jehona calls on all young people and citizens of Kosovo and the Western Balkans to continue working for their countries, and her message is that together we are stronger.