The core team of the organisation is comprised of 9 members in total, two employees and seven volunteer members, and is supported by the programme assistant. We take decisions and develop activities together. We also operate the activities of the organisation.Through continuing education, we expand our skill-set to strategic planning, systemic coaching, organisational development, community organizing and conflict transformation. This is done to improve the quality of our work, and also to ensure our own growth.
I am interested in various things and usually when people say that, you already know that they are not so much interested at all. But, I also have some specific interest where I like to use my other knowledge from various other fields so that those specific once can be more successful. My primarily interests are related to the United Nations and international humanitarian law. So, everything that is related to politics and values that are promoted by the UN are my first concern. I am also an activist and volunteer. Promoting the abolishment of the nuclear weapons is one of my most important goals. On the other hand, I like to explore nature and to meet with new places as much as I like the people. Establishing the balance between the people and the planet should be the priority for all of us nowadays.
I joined BLGU team because I see that this is the place where good ideas are born. But not just that, it is the place where the people with good ideas can actually implement them. And most importantly, the strongest reason why I am the BLGU member is because I want, as many other young people from the Balkans, to live in a world that respect differences and gives you various opportunities to actively participate and change the space and society in which you live.
English and Serbian and little Russian and Spanish.
I am currently working as a Project Coordinator at kulturweit, the international cultural voluntary service of the German Commission for UNESCO. There, I am in charge of the training programme offered to incoming and outgoing volunteers. As I am generally passionate about adult education and active citizenship, this is a lucky place to be in after coordinating the programme of Balkans, let’s get up! for several years.
I have joined Balkans, let’s get up! about half a year after it was founded in 2009. A flat share of responsibilities and decision making stayed in my focus for as long as possible, encouraging ownership over the programme and the debate of new ideas. Secondly, the core team has taught me lessons about the interplay between non-hierarchical structures and efficiency, and between participation and shared responsibility. I find that together we learn a lot and that keeps me attached as a member of the core team also for the future.
English, German, Romanian, Hungarian, a little Turkish
I was born and raised in Belgrade, though my roots spread as far as the little villages of Ljuša and Podujevo. I am an English teacher by vocation, and in addition to it, I built my expertise in project management and community organising. Currently, I am a Fundraising Coordinator for Balkans, let’s get up!
I embarked on the adventure called “Balkans, let’s get up!” in 2011 as a participant, where I discovered my love for non-formal education and re-discovered my love for activism.
I joined the core team of BLGU! in the late 2012, and it has been my second home ever since. I developed myself up as an educator through mentoring and facilitating, I took a great deal in setting up our alumni network, and as of this year I committed myself to the programme as one of the coordinators.
I see my mission as the one to ensure growth, in terms of sustaining activities, and also in terms of sustaining people that we involve and providing them a safe and rewarding structure to pursue our common goals.
I strongly believe in an individual’s ability to change, learn and grow, and I believe this is essential to feed larger changes in the world.
Born and living in Belgrade, Serbia. Studied Anglo-American Literature and Culture, focusing primarily on the countercultural movements of the 60s. Passionate about cognitive sciences, holistic education, and sustainable ways of living. Fluent in Serbian and English, with intermediate knowledge of Spanish and German.
Personal development, creating opportunities where people can freely express their individuality and creativity, discovering inner talents and what makes us unique, questioning our belief systems, finding what it is that we are truly passionate about, and following our excitement, means being in the center of our potential, and is what makes the collective mechanism function smoothly, for the benefit of the individual, community, and the environment.
BLGU creates such an atmosphere where we can connect with ourselves and each other, thus triggering insights and creative solutions that enable us to grow on a personal level, to cooperate with each other on the basis of common values, and contribute to the society that we share.
I believe that learning by doing, learning through individual and collective experience, learning through interaction with each other, and most importantly being a living example of what we stand for is the highest form of education.
Currently I am engaged in the master program of European Studies at the European University Viadrina in Germany. By profession I am German philologist and with my master soon “the great expert” in the field of European politics (focus on enlargement policy of the EU). I am always “traveling” between the Serbian and German societies – either by researching about my homeland at the German university or working in German institutions in Serbia. In the “free” time I am also teaching German and English and engaged for the society.
As a programme assistant I joined the BLGU team as my organization of choice where I conduct my internship in the frame of Masters studies. Although I knew the ideas and visions of the organization and its people, I have never been the part of its structure. BLGU gives me the needed insight in the challenges, needs and problems the youth of the region is facing with. Besides the internship is thematically connected with my field of research concerning especially the society in Western Balkan.
Serbian (mother language), German, English, and Spanish
By profession I am an landscape architect. It sounds nice but I deal mostly with other things at the moment because life sometimes leads us in the direction we do not expect. Nature is something inspires me the most. Creative person inside of me wakes up usually when I run, swim or ride a bicycle. I think often about sustainability of everyday actions we made. Politics is often not pleasant surrounding but as more of people get involved and become active, the chances are we will live in a better society. And I like the Balkans. Its places, people and this Organization.
I joined the core team because they called me in. 🙂 At the moment I moderate meetings of the core team. I like it because this way I stay connected with the Organization which provided me with the life changing experience and I can contribute its work with my own ideas. The biggest challenge is that we are working together but living far away from each others.
For me, facilitation is Growing myself while helping others to grow. It is exciting and challenging job, and always unique because of the uniqueness of people who are facilitated. Rewarding is when you see improvement, development and change happening in participants, which influence their life and deeds in future.
Our pool of facilitators and trainers consists of individuals committed to empowerment of individuals. Our learning methods rely greatly on non-formal and informal education, civic involvement and experiential learning. Several members of our pool are the former participants of Balkans, let’s get up! who went on to develop further through capacity building modules provided by our programme partner, Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg. Majority of the core team members also belongs to this pool.
Anne Wiebelitz (*1987), facilitator and moderator with a focus in conflict transformation, intercultural communication, the socio-ecological transformation and connection with nature/wilderness awareness. She studied Political Science, South East European studies and Intercultural Business Communication, loves to hike and travel through the Balkans (especially the rural areas), lived and worked 2013/13 in Romania and was one of the co-founders of BLGU back in 2009 and active in the core team till 2016.
I believe in self-organised learning that happens because of inspiration, because of good questions, because of a warm and appreciative atmosphere, because of laughter, because of sharing about my stories, trials and errors, because of listening to the stories of others with an open heart. That´s how I see our role as facilitators. I think that´s one of the secrets of BLGU, why people are inspired on the seminars to take actions and responsibility where they can. I don´t tell anyone: do this, do that. I see myself as enabling change on a personal as well as on a political, or even on a spiritual level. “
german, english, romanian, french (plus some pan-slavic basic vocabulary)
My story with BLGU started back in 2010 and ever since I am enjoying each and every piece of it. For me, BLGU is a limitless source of energetic motivation, fresh inspiration and sweet happiness that comes when meeting Balkan fellows with pure vision, dedicated to put words into action and ideas into projects.
I was a participant in the first year of the program and it empowered me to once again discover the world as an open space with endless opportunities, find some fresh inspiration and grow in different experiences.
My involvement as a mentor and as facilitator, provide me the opportunity to give my contribution in promoting values of active citizenship and person’s responsibility for one’s own welfare, as well as waking up and nurturing person’s authenticity and creativity.
English, Macedonian, Russian
I’m Octav, active in the BLGU network since 2012 as participant and alumni, and as a trainer since 2014. I live and work in Timisoara, Romania as architect and photographer, fields that I am always passionate about. In my free time I enjoy traveling, sketching and sports.. I enjoy working as a trainer in the fields where I can bring to the group my professional experience, and also in topics such as civic engagement, artistic social endeavors and peace building. In life, myself and other people I value highly traits such as creativity, tolerance and courage.
What is facilitation and training? For me, facilitation is the process through which a group can identify their needs, goals and wishes, and work together in the best way to meet all these. Training is the method of used to support the participants in gaining, strengthening and sharing their skills, knowledge and know-how.
The facilitator pool is a group of diverse talented individuals with a common goal of bringing their share in this way to society, and diverse backgrounds, skills, knowledge-fields and areas of expertise. In this way, the needs of different seminars and participant groups can be met by individuals who bring relevant unique traits, supported by their own motivation in the given topic.
To be a facilitator means for me to put the needs, goals and unique energy of a group before yourself, and to support it in a participant – and process oriented way. It means to care as well for the topic, the growth and the participants, not forgetting your own motivation and growth in the process.
The most rewarding aspect in this work are for me the participants and their growth, those moments when you can tell that the seminar had a positive impact in their lives. And the gratitude of both yourself and the participants for sharing this time and process together.
For me personally, the most challenging aspect in the role of facilitator are setting aside my own expectation, believes and thoughts in order to truly see the participants, which is vital in this role to understand the individual personalities and needs, and also the group dynamic and process. Only in this way can the process develop naturally and harmoniously.
romanian, english, german, italian
Hi, I’am Shenaj from Kosovo. I am engaged as a retainer in civil society and community work in Kosovo.
I like to work with people, exchange and reflect and afterwards act! I grew
up in an enriching surrounding followed by tradition which equipped me with multi-lingua
abilities by learning in the same time Turkish, Serbian/Bosnian (I prefer saying ‘naški’ to this) and Albanian language… If you feel like contacting me, please bear in mind that I’d be happy to be in touch with you through my e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
I embraced BLGU-ism from 2012 and I was blessed to be engaged right now in the role of facilitator which I love it, hence gives me the opportunity to deepen
and broaden knowledge and paradoxes related to Balkanism. For me facilitation is
serving the community/individuals by initiating and reflecting on common issues
that are burdening all of us. Facilitator’s work as a whole is very rewarding hence
I feel blessed for the given opportunity to serve and help the others by trying to lighten the burdens of one-another and making the world, a bit of a happier place.
Turkish, Serbian/Bosnian, Albanian
My background is diverse, as I love interdisciplinary ares, but at the same time, there are always elements, which stays like navigation stars. Those are art, nature and movement. My education in fine art and illustration, and later in design engineering gave me wide variety of expression tools, and the love for nature is my nature. Sports and outdoor activities are a pleasure for the mind and body, and try to balance them with my city life.
Facilitation for me is a process, where how is more important then what, where you form interaction with the participants, built trust and pass on an impulse to them. The way to make them more aware of their own strengths and position is the starting point, after which they can begin a new development for themselves and their community. I have experienced that on myself, as I was a participant in the program, which had a great effect on my life.
The challenges come from me – how I overcome my prejudices, or the frustration with something, or the fear that I might now perform good enough or forget something important. Of course, sometimes there are sleepless nights, after which you are tired, or someone breaks a leg, which brings another sensations, but you have to be there and do your best, and stay positive.
Bulgarian, English, German
Mentoring is a type of relationship between people with different levels of experience. Its main goal is to enable learning and growth. In the frame of Balkans, let’s get up! Programme, it is the alumni of the programme who support the new participants through mentoring, coaching and counselling. The alumni provide guidance based on their own experiences, but are also given support from senior mentors. All of this enables a stronger and wider frame of support for participants and their projects.