Meet PYN Secretariat’s New Members!

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The PYN Secretariat is the operational basis of the Political Youth Network (PYN), overseeing all organizational activities including workshops, meetings, webinars, reporting, and website management. It coordinates network activities and maintains continuous communication among network members. The Secretariat’s members are chosen from the Youth Initiative for Human Rights staff. At the same time, each political youth organization within the Network is required to appoint a contact person to facilitate uninterrupted communication.

Over the past year, the Secretariat of the Political Youth Network (PYN) has added three new coordinators from the Youth Initiative for Human Rights Croatia office. We are delighted to introduce Senna Šimek and Margareta Blažević as Program Officers, and Dora Tomljanović as the Program Assistant. The new team is enthusiastic about connecting with the Network’s members and plans to hold meetings with all PYN members in the coming weeks. These meetings will be organized either in person or online to ensure they are accessible to everyone.

Let’s meet our new Secretariat members!

Senna Šimek has a dual Master’s degree in Political Science and Modern and Contemporary History from the University of Zagreb and is currently pursuing a PhD in Modern and Contemporary Croatian History in the European and World context at the same institution. In addition to her formal education, Šenna has participated in numerous informal educational programs, such as Peace Studies at the Center for Peace Studies, the Student Program of the Academy for Political Development, the School of Social Justice by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and various summer schools focusing on nationalism, cultural trauma, post-conflict societies, and transitional justice.

Senna began volunteering at the Youth Initiative for Human Rights in January 2022 and transitioned to a staff position in May 2023, where she continues to contribute to the organization with her extensive knowledge and experience.

Senna’s work in the PYN includes developing its programs and activities associated with current political events in the region. Senna prepares and organizes Regional News Cafe Webinars, ensuring they are informative and engaging for participants. Additionally, she maintains regular communication with lecturers and ensures that their expertise is effectively integrated into the webinars.

Margareta Blažević holds a Master’s degree in International Crimes, Conflict, and Criminology from the Free University in Amsterdam and a Bachelor’s degree in Politics, Psychology, Law, and Economics from the University of Amsterdam. Margareta remains affiliated with the Center for International Criminal Justice at the Free University Amsterdam, contributing to a research team investigating Yugonostalgia in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia. Additionally, she has served as an external researcher for the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo and the Atlantic Initiative (BiH). Her volunteer work includes involvement with the Srebrenica Memorial Center and participation in various training programs related to peace and security. She became a YIHR staff member in January 2024.

From 2015 to 2018, Margareta was a Project Manager and subsequently the President of the European Youth Parliament Croatia. In these roles, she coordinated and organized projects aimed at fostering civic engagement and educating youth on European politics and sociopolitical challenges in the Western Balkans and the EU.

Margareta’s work at the PYN involves maintaining regular communication with members of the Secretariat from across the region and designing new programs and activities. Additionally, she engages with PYN’s donors, providing updates on ongoing projects and securing support for future initiatives. Margareta is also creating and planning the release of the new PYN handbook issue, ensuring it meets the highest standards of quality and relevance. 

Dora Tomljanović graduated from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb with a degree in history. During her studies, she participated in several informal educational programs, including the Croatian Youth Initiative for Human Rights Educational Activist School for Transitional Justice “Where Were You in 2022?” and the Center for Nonviolent Action Sarajevo-Belgrade’s Basic Peacebuilding Training. Dora has been an active member of YIHR HR’s Activist Network since January 2023 and became a staff member of YIHR Croatia in January 2024.

Her responsibilities in PYN’s Secretariat include developing engaging content for PYN’s social media and website. She also maintains regular connections with current PYN members, and contacts potential new members to broaden the network’s reach and influence. 

The new members of the Secretariat are planning to hold separate meetings with all PYN members in the coming weeks. These meetings will be organized either live or online to accommodate everyone’s availability and preferences. The first meeting is scheduled to take place with PYN members from Serbia on June 21 in Belgrade. Additional dates of meetings with members from other regions will be announced soon. 

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Senna, Margareta and Dora 

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