Today, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK, Ms. Caroline Ziadeh, welcomed the eight young women taking part in the UNMIK Mentoring Initiative. The programme, which aims at supporting young women from different backgrounds and communities to advance their professional and personal goals, involved pairing each of them with one of UNMIK’s female senior managers serving as mentors.
During the morning, the participants accompanied their mentors in their regular activities, gaining first-hand experience about the work of the United Nations. Later in the afternoon, all mentors and mentees gathered together at UNMIK to discuss the importance of gender equality, women’s empowerment and the role of women in supporting other women.
Kendiza Lala, 20, management and digital design student, human rights activist with Caroline Ziadeh, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK.
Kendiza Lala, 20, a management and digital design student and human rights activist, who will be mentored by the SRSG Ziadeh, said the mentorship programme at UNMIK will expand her horizon to work in a very diverse environment. “I am hoping to improve my skills and increase my knowledge, to be a more professional Kendiza. By supporting and empowering young women around you, you are planting a seed for a better future that includes everyone,” she added.
Sanam Dolatshahi, UNMIK Head of the Office of Strategic Communications with Adea Rexhepi, 19, student.
Vlera Zymeri, 19, a sociology student and activist participating in the mentorship programme said that through this programme she is looking forward to growing not only professionally, but also personally, since she will be part of a larger group of experienced people from different backgrounds.
“When women work together and are united, good things always happen. We should be respectful of one another and support each other, no matter what background we are coming from.”
Sandra Imsirovic, Acting Head of UNMIK Mitrovica Regional Office with Jelena Radovanović, 25, psychologist and activist.
Jelena Radovanović, 25, a psychologist and activist, said the most important thing one woman can do for another is to expand her sense of actual possibilities by sharing experiences and knowledge.
“I am really happy to be part of the UNMIK mentorship programme for young women. I expect to progress in my career and my personal skills through this experience. Also, I am looking forward to meeting successful women whom I can look up to and learn from,” she added.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK paid tribute to each and every woman who forged the path to protect women’s rights and has remained committed to capitalize on and widen women’s achievements.
“Let us not take these rights for granted. Let us remain vigilant, support and empower each other, and determine our future and destiny,” SRSG Ziadeh said.
The mentorship initiative will continue for a period of six months during which mentors will support and follow-up on the goals set by the mentees.
Mari Yamashita, Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office in Belgrade, with Katarina Popović, 23, pilot and student.
Barrie Freeman, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, with Nita Azemi, 23, lawyer.
Adea Rexhepi, 19, student with Margarethe Matic, UNMIK Head of the Office of Community Support.
Javiera Thais Santa Cruz, UNMIK Gender Advisor to the SRSG, with Gresa Sheqiri, 25, student.
Paula Souverijn, Officer in Charge of UNMIK Mission Support Division, with Brankica Timotijević, 24, sales and marketing professional.