General Assembly Summer Edition

It’s been a long time since I posted on this blog, it’s been a long time but I’m back in town… And this time I am not leaving without an article ♪♪♪ Oh, don’t get all teary eyes on me, guys, not just yet. Wait ’till you hear the  President’s GA speech (Yeah, I promise: It’s going be good).


Here is how the story goes. 


Once upon a time, I mean, last Saturday morning, UNYAAers headed to city library “Musine Kokalari” (look her up on Google: she is truly an Albanian feminist icon) with smiles as bright as a mid-July sun. We were to attend this season’s grande finale: the General Assembly.


I will jump directly to conclusions: four hours (officially, because unofficially we occupied the venue for an additional one hour and a half) are not enough to elect a new board, vote for Volunteer of the Year (Congrats to all of you, congrats to me), discuss the yearly objectives and the events of the past few months etc.


For less than 15o days (Spring break included), we somehow managed to organize two Coffee Talks, each one addressing one of the SDGs; All Def Poetry held on the 8th of March and MiniMUN Albania 3: A.I Puzzle, a longer and international edition. Looking back in hindsight, we realized that despite all the difficulties: running on a tight schedule, or a tight budget for that matter, our status as a relatively new NGO, sudden cancellations from people we were counting on, we actually did it.


Coffee Talks are now a powerful mean for promoting SDGs and relevant UN/ global values. It is refreshing, to say the least: youngsters meet in a casual setting to discuss freely on matters that concern them. Most recently, we talked about the Justice Reform in Albania, taking in consideration SDG #16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.


All Def Poetry was the first of the many to come. In the process of making this event happen, we agreed on using poetry as a mean of peaceful protest. This way, we not only convey the message of love for women, but also stay long enough in people’s mind to cause a reaction.


MiniMUN Albania 3 paved the way for bigger, more ambitious conferences. Hence, the “Mini” will have to go. We think that we are creating a MUN tradition, leading Albanian youth toward more possibilities and new experiences.
Of course, we take pride in our reputation as people who throw a good MUN, but we know that there is still room for improvement.


During the same period we organized several workshops for UNYAA members aimed at improving their skill sets and also lots of social events and an incredible Team Building in Korça.


Coming back to the “famous” President’s speech, it has been a fantastic year filled with great achievements, amazing memories and family-like relationships. He said that UNYAA and its members feel a bit like his “baby”. Every parent has a vision and a plan for his/her child and he/she puts all the energy, effort and love in this direction. However, as the child grows, it becomes clear even for the parent that it is a distinct creature which needs to follow its own path and become independent, even by rebelling at some point.  It can be heartbreaking, but at the same time totally worth it.


I am touched.


             …by Linda Kelmendi