As the temperature rises, so does the anticipation for the upcoming Summer Program on Post-Conflict Reconciliation at the esteemed Woolf Institute in Cambridge. This immersive program brings together a diverse group of individuals who are passionate about driving positive change in their communities. Guided by leading academics and experts in reconciliation, these individuals will delve into the intricacies of post-conflict reconciliation, exploring topics such as peacebuilding, interfaith dialogue, and the importance of fostering unity.
Curious to meet the remarkable EDYN members who will be attending? Have a look at the stories, experiences, and aspirations of these inspiring change-makers who are dedicated to making a lasting impact in their communities and creating a brighter future through dialogue and collaboration.
Ismayil Abdullayev, Azerbaijan
“The experience and knowledge, that I will gain through participation in the program will strengthen my capacities and will allow me to work more efficiently with conflict-affected people and pave the way for a more sustainable peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
Mr. Abdullayev has a bachelor’s degree in “Political sciences “from Baku State University and did Master’s degree in “Diplomacy and work with international organization” at the University of Florence, Italy. He is an alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School and Distinguished Humphrey fellow.
Mr. Abdullayev was actively involved in a wide number of civic initiatives: such as the project “Youth in Politics”, and took part in a project called “Young Political Leaders for peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict” implemented in frames of EU-funded EPNK project. He is also an alumnus of the EU Parliament’s “Young Political Leaders” program, actively involved in the youth development and peacebuilding field.
Mr. Abdullayev is the former Vice-President of European Democracy Youth Network (EDYN) youth-led organization that aims to increase the political and civic representation of youth from Eastern Partnership and Balkan countries. Currently holds the position of Local Coordinator of Crisis Management Initiative Peace Foundation (CMI) in Baku. The local partner of Conciliation Resources in frames of EU4Peace project funded by European Union. Mr. Abdullayev is also a member of Helsinki Citizens Assembly-Azerbaijan National Committee and a member of “Karabakh council” expert club. He speaks English, Italian, Russian, and Azerbaijani languages.
Ramadan Beshiri, Kosovo
“If you want to change the world, start with community service.”
Ramadan Beshiri is a Kosovar citizen, currently residing in the city of Mitrovica in northern Kosovo. He completed his elementary and high school education in his hometown of Mitrovica. He holds a master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Prishtina and is a member of the Association of Sociologists in Kosovo.
Since 2021, he has been a member of the Kosovo Federation of Social Workers and the European Democracy Youth Network (EDYN). Currently, he serves as a Professor of Sociology at the public High School of Economy in Mitrovica.
In 2022, he founded an NGO called “PREMISA” in Mitrovica. He is politically active in VETEVENDOSJE! and his involvement extends beyond politics to environmental awareness and community social development.
Yulia Dziuba, Ukraine
“As a member of the EDYN Ukraine, I believe I can use skills and insights to bring the Ukrainian chapter more closely aligned with the European counterparts and use the knowledge I attain in the Ukrainian chapter to share with our colleagues abroad. I would like to create an initiative that will help young leaders in rebuilding Ukraine. I believe we can find new ideas and resources, both knowledge and material, to identify solutions for whatever problems and challenges might come up in the future of Ukraine. As an assistant to a Member of Parliament of Ukraine, this will help me personally in my career. I am working with public policy making with my law background, and I would like to connect my position working with politics and the reconciliation process at Belfast. I will use the knowledge I attain at this conference to help with better understanding in what ways approaches were successful, and what approaches were not.”
Yulia Dziuba is a member of the EDYN Ukraine chapter, assistant to the Member of the Parliament of Ukraine, adviser to the Chairperson of the Ukrainian delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Ms Maria Mezentseva, Chairperson of the Chernihiv Regional Youth Council. She is currently working on youth engagement in policy and decision-making processes in Ukraine, mechanisms for developing dialogue between young people, non-governmental organisations, and public authorities. As a lawyer, Yulia is also focusing on the topics of post-war reconstruction, peace-keeping and post-conflict reconciliation.
Albert Hayrapetyan, Armenia
“Amidst the hallowed halls of Cambridge´s Woolf Institute, I seek to unravel the mysteries of post-conflict reconciliation. Armed with this knowledge, I will endeavor to forge a path toward post-war development and reconciliation in my country – Armenia, weaving a tapestry of unity and understanding from the threads of diversity.”
Albert Hayrapetyan holds a Ph.D. in Economics and serves as a lecturer at the Chair of International Economics at the Armenian State University of Economics. He is the Head of the Payment Systems Division of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia. Dr. Hayrapetyan’s areas of expertise include EU politics, policies, and regional integrations. He has earned Master’s degrees from the College of Europe and the American University of Armenia.
Dr. Hayrapetyan is the author of numerous scientific articles and three collective monologues. Notably, he translated the book “The State in the Third Millennium” written by His Serene Highness Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein from English to Armenian. He was also among the first Armenian scholars to publish a comprehensive study on the legal aspects of the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh. Dr. Hayrapetyan was a guest lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences BFI Vienna, the University of Gdansk, Poznan University of Economics and Business, and Corvinus University of Budapest.
Amila Husić, Bosnia and Herzegovina
“As a jurist and passionate advocate for human rights, I am eager to partake in this summer school and acquire fresh knowledge and skills. Coming from a post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina, I believe this experience will offer valuable perspectives on post-conflict reconciliation practices from other conflicts around the world, which I intend to adapt and apply to the unique needs and culture of BiH.”
Amila Husić is a jurist, human rights activist, and independent researcher from Zenica, BiH. She has been active in the NGO sector since high school, with several years of professional experience in the sector.
Currently, Amila is an LLM candidate at the Faculty of Law, University of Zenica, and working in the gaming industry. Her main areas of interest are transitional justice as well as gender and LGBTIQ+ rights and issues.
Nikola Kandić, Bosnia and Herzegovina
“As someone from Bosnia and Herzegovina with practical knowledge of post-war societies, attending the Summer School on Post-Conflict Reconciliation at the Woolf Institute will be a significant opportunity for me. Post-conflict recovery is not a straightforward process and often occurs in the uncertain period between war and peace. I believe that this program will equip me with the skills and knowledge necessary to work in such conditions. By learning from experts in the field and engaging with fellow participants who share my passion for promoting reconciliation and development in post-conflict societies, I will gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities involved in post-conflict recovery. The program will also provide practical skills, such as conflict resolution and dialogue facilitation, that I can apply in my community. Overall, I believe that attending the Summer School on Post-Conflict Reconciliation at the Woolf Institute will be an invaluable experience that will help me make a meaningful contribution to my community’s post-war development and reconciliation efforts.”
Nikola Kandić is a jurist, youth worker, and storyteller from Bosnia and Herzegovina. He earned a master’s degree in civil and company law at the University of East Sarajevo. During his student period, he was president of the Student Assembly and began his career as a civil activist. He gained work experience by working in the Ministry of Justice of the Republika Srpska, UNHCR, and non-governmental organizations in BiH (Institute for Youth Development Kult, Youth Council of the Federation of BiH, Civitas BiH).
He currently works as a Communication and Outreach specialist in the IT sector. He is a member of the Youth Advisory Group at the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina and was appointed as an ambassador of the EDYN network and a European youth ambassador for the Western Balkans by the European Commission. He is recognized as a youth leader and author of several research papers, methodologies, and programs in the field of youth work. Fields of his work: media and information literacy, communications, youth policies, dealing with the past, regional cooperation, and social innovations.
Klajdi Kaziu, Albania
“This Summer School on Post-conflict Reconciliation represents an opportunity for self-growth, experience sharing, and above all, inspiration to deepen my engagement in peacebuilding work. By bringing together a group of highly motivated youngsters, I expect this programme will strengthen my skills in advancing intergenerational trust-building process, towards collective peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts.”
Klajdi Kaziu is currently acting as Secretary-General and Program Manager at the United Nations Association in Albania, leading its initiative to develop the Albanian National Network on Youth, Peace, and Security. He has long been a young activist, committed to youth mainstreaming in public policy, particularly with regard to foreign affairs. Since 2020, he has been elected amongst the “Young European Ambassadors” from the Western Balkans, representing his country within this flagship EU initiative, whilst being actively engaged in Policy Briefings with GLOBSEC, and the Anna Lindh Foundation.
Simultaneously, Klajdi has been utilizing his background knowledge and practical skills as a UNFPA Peer Trainer, in parallel mentoring a set of local youth peacebuilding initiatives. Klajdi has joined the EDYN Chapter in Albania with the purpose of strengthening its efforts to bridge the differences across the country’s political and ideological spectrum.
Marija Krstevska Taseva, North Macedonia
Inspired by the first-hand experiences of the interethnic conflict in 2001 in North Macedonia, I am committed to driving continuous reconciliation efforts in the region. With a deep understanding of the urgent need to bridge the gap between young individuals from different ethnic backgrounds, I am dedicated to developing and delivering transformative programs and initiatives aiming to equip young people with the essential skills for capacity building and future peace-building endeavors, placing a strong emphasis on intercultural learning. By fostering trust, reconciliation, and harmony among communities, my ongoing mission is to empower youth and contribute to the creation of a more inclusive and peaceful future.
Marija Krstevska Taseva is a passionate youth worker and activist from North Macedonia with over 13 years of experience in the youth sector, starting as a participant and volunteer before progressing through various roles such as project coordinator, facilitator, and trainer. She has a master’s degree in law and a scholarship at the Human Rights Advocates Program at Columbia University.
Previously serving as the president of the National Youth Council of Macedonia (NYCM), and being an integral part of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue (CID), a youth-led organization from Kumanovo, she has played a pivotal role in representing youth and advocating for their interests and direct involvement in decision-making processes by working tirelessly to support youth participation through the development of inclusive policies and creating inclusive learning opportunities through non-formal education. With expertise in human rights, intercultural learning, youth participation, advocacy, hate speech, and hate crimes, she is dedicated to bridging the gap between young people from different ethnic backgrounds and promoting reconciliation and future building in post-conflict regions.
Gulkhanim Mammadova, Azerbaijan
“I believe that attending this summer school will be a transformative experience for me. It will equip me with the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to contribute to post-war development and reconciliation efforts in my community. By learning from experts and engaging with peers from diverse backgrounds, I hope to deepen my understanding of post-conflict reconciliation. Ultimately, I believe that this experience will help me to become a more knowledgeable and performative agent of change in my community.”
Gulkhanim Mammadova is a young researcher from Azerbaijan with a focus on conflict transformation at the Baku-based think tank, Topchubashov Center. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences in 2019 from the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and a Master`s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies in 2021 from the Social Sciences University of Ankara.
Gulkhanim has also taken a graduate certificate course in conflict analyses and mediation at the University of San Diego in 2023. She was awarded multiple merit-based scholarships for her academic endeavors. In addition, Gulkhanim implemented a project dedicated to women’s role in conflict transformation in the framework of the programme funded by the European Union and has taken part in numerous cross-border dialogue projects and conferences.
Olga Voitovych, Ukraine
“This Summer School is my unique opportunity to engage with leading academics, and political and reconciliation experts with a further contribution to Ukraine’s path through and beyond the war”.
Olga Voitovych is a Program Manager at East Europe Foundation responsible for the implementation of the EU-funded project “Phoenix: Resilient Ukraine in the Time of War”. Olga has a Master’s Degree in Foreign Philology and Public Administration. Since 2013, she has been active and politically involved in the youth organization of the political party in Ukraine. It resulted in professional development and the gradual joining USAID RADA Program in Ukraine. Its main objective was to promote a representative, accountable and independent parliament – the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Later on, Olga was working for another USAID Program – Leadership in Economic Governance, aimed to improve the business environment and ensure specific institutional reforms contributing to the development of SME.
Her 5 years of work for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe were devoted to human security and strengthening cybersecurity in Ukraine. This experience had a great impact on the cyber-resilience of public institutions and their servants across Ukraine. Olga contributed to the development of training programs for civil servants on cyber hygiene and cybersecurity that had a positive impact on Ukraine’s resilience during Russia’s attack.
Since the beginning of the full-scale war of Russia against Ukraine, Olga used to volunteer for the National Information Bureau aimed to collect (in all possible ways), and summarize data on Ukrainian prisoners of war, dead, missing, and illegally detained in Russia, including among the civilian population.