These young people have shared their experience, knowledge gained, and ways they will help our young people to raise awareness of Environmental Education after participating in the Youth Congress for Environmental Education. Read what they have to say below.
Youth Environmental Education Congress has been organized by the Center for Environmental Education SEVER (Czech Republic) and TOKA’s young mentors’ participation was supported by the Erasmus+ Programmme of the European Union.
Arbrita Uka, 21 years old, Lipjan
I am Arbrita Uka, a physics student from Lipjan.
My experience at the Environmental Education Youth Congress in Prague has ranked among the best experiences I have had so far. Starting with the goal of representing Kosovo, has made our participation even more special. While, meeting people from different countries, and exchanging experiences and ideas – were two of the strongest bridges we created since the first day of the Congress.
If I were to single out the proudest moment during this Congress, it would undoubtedly be the moment when it was my turn to present in front of more than 120 people. While introducing I felt I was being listened to, and my experiences from back home were being applauded. However, the moment when I felt the happiest was the moment when we visited Prague and all those excursions were related to physics, even though they were initially intended to be for the environment. This constituted one of the reasons for my intention to attend this Congress, linking my field of study to the topics discussed there.
The experiences I have gained at TOKA have prepared me to respond to spaces for contribution to Congress. Due to the experience in the quality of staff in TOKA, my contribution, which stems from this experience, will be transmitted to the youth of Kosovo during the summer camps.
Uvejs Hyeni, 22 years old, Vushtrri
I am Uvejs Hyseni, 21 years old from the city of Vushtrria. The experience at the Congress organized in Prague has been a very fruitful and enjoyable opportunity for me. The part I feel very proud of was when we, a group of participants in the Congress, created an informative video about the steps to be taken for the Ministry of Culture, Environment, and Education of the Czech Republic. This project was very well received by them and the officials of these ministries who were present in the Congress promised significant changes.
Action today, for health tomorrow!
Donarta Uka, 19 years old, Prishtinë
I am one of the representative participants of the TOKA Organization in the Youth Congress for Environmental Education. I can consider this Congress to be one of the most memorable experiences for me. Cultural diversity, inspiring ideas, discussions and stories, and the beautiful city of Prague make Congress a catalyst for our productivity and creativity.
One of my favorite moments in Congress has been the Pecha Kucha presentations. During these presentations, I had the opportunity to see the work of many peers from Europe, and also to share my work and aspirations. This Congress has awakened in me a sense of responsibility and has helped me understand that change begins with every individual, especially young people who have tremendous ideas and energy. I believe that TOKA can help us convey this message to the Kosovar youth and strengthen the ideas of young people for the preservation of our planet. As a participant in this Congress, I am ready to share my inspiration and goals with young people who aim to protect the planet.
Fatjona Beqiri, 20 years old, Prishtinë
I am Fatjona Beqiri, a student and youth mentor from Prishtina. In NGO TOKA I was initially a participant in one of the projects of the organization called “TOKA Outreach” in 2017. Since then my goals have been to continue to do volunteer work and participate in summer camps and other projects where I could help for the good of my community.
By engaging in these activities over the years, TOKA has enabled me to participate in the Youth Congress on Environmental Education in Prague.
In Congress, we have shared our previous experiences, learned, and understood how important the environment around us is. We were a very diverse group of young people from different countries, cultures, and languages, ??but environmental education is what brought us together, and we have all worked together during Congress on projects to raise environmental awareness.
During the Congress, I felt really proud that I and my society have shared many of our projects and shown the world that we are from a small country like Kosovo, but we have ambitions and goals to improve the environment.
It has been an inspiring and very rewarding experience, and it will be one of the most beautiful and unforgettable experiences!
Elisa Durmishi, 20 years old, Podujevë
I am Elisa Durmishi and I have been a volunteer at TOKA since 2018, first as a participant moving to a leader, and right now, I am the mentor of the Super-Citizens Club in my city, Podujeva.
On the 13-17th of March, I participated in the Youth Environmental Congress, where Arbrita, Donarta, Fatjona, Uvejs, and I represented TOKA. This experience was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life and it gifted me with some of the best memories. I met a lot of remarkable climate change and environmental activists that had a huge impact on their society. We tried to find potential solutions and look at these issues with different approaches. Several workshops were conducted that included art, video, theater, poems, speaking, comics, etc.
The experience I have had so far at TOKA helped me a lot during this Congress, considering that my empathy reached its peak. I talked to people and I could relate on so many levels to all the struggles that we face to tackle this problem and not deal with all the deadly consequences later. TOKA is the first place that introduced me to a society that cares about the environment and its resources and ever since I have never stopped expanding my knowledge and effort on this matter.
This Congress made me realize that we all need to do more by starting with simple things, such as riding bicycles, reusing and recycling, bringing a tote bag and a reusable water bottle, planting a tree, etc. but most importantly educating others on the importance of these actions. Environmental educators really make a big difference in how a society deals with such huge matters for mankind.
After coming back to Kosova I am looking forward to sharing all the information and ideas I got at the Congress with the youth that will attend camps and clubs in different ways.
I will always feel hopeful and overwhelmed while seeing young people from Kosova and all over the world unite and share their inspiring stories, deeds, and potential solutions. The change is difficult but not changing will be fatal!