MEET THE ALUMNI: KAROLINA ŽAVELJI

Hello, Karolina! Please introduce yourself!

Hi! I am Karolina Žavelji (25) I am a laboratory technician from Belgrade, Serbia. In my free time I like to do photography.

Look back at the start of your political activism. What was your motivation? What was the reason behind your decision to be actively engaged in politics?

The characteristic of young people is the belief that it is possible to change the world. As a child, I was interested in the political situation in our country, and I wanted to change the world around me. I saw personal involvement in politics as the only way to change the situation.

What are the most valuable lessons you learned through political activism? What skills and knowledge it helped you to acquire?

I realized it was difficult to be a young woman in politics, but it gave me the strength not to give up, and to work to achieve the best possible position for young girls in politics and our society.

Share with us one memory, anecdote or story from your political experience you cherish the most.

At one of the election assemblies in my local board, I was a candidate for one of the positions. The organizers of the assembly asked for my biography which was to be read at the event. One of the questions in the biography was what I wanted to be when I grow up. My answer was – I want to be the president of my municipality. It happened by accident during the assembly that president of my municipality at the time was sitting near me. When he heard my answer to the question, he looked at me and asked me to replace him the day after.

How would you describe your experience with the Political Youth Network’s activities? What does regional cooperation mean to you?

Activities with PYN are my first regional experiences where I met inspiring peers with whom I share the same goal – to make life safer and better for all of us in the Balkans. Regional cooperation for me means opening of new possibilities for new, young generations not affected by the war to cure the wounds from the past and for the civilization and culture to outgrow the war atrocities.

Nowadays we are faced with global challenges which require much solidarity and responsibility. What is your desired vision of the world after the crisis ends? What message do you have for young politically active young people in the region?

I hope that the crisis has taught us to be more emphatic, to show more solidarity and that great catastrophe do not choose gender, nation or race. My vision is a global existence based on equality, common sense and respect for every human being. My message to young politicians is: Always be yourself, be an inspiration to the society in which you live and work on yourself!