Boris Cavkovski, Macedonia
Boris Cavkovski is from Skopje. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biotechnology and completed his education in economic faculty in Varna, Bulgaria. Boris is the general manager of Kalonis Ltd in Skopje. Recently, he became registered as a private agriculture producer in the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Macedonia.
Lavdosh Ferruni, Albania
Lavdosh Ferruni is an environmental activist in Albania. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics in Tirana and received his master’s degree in Greece in 1993. For many years he has been an outside lecturer in the university. In 1997, Mr. Ferruni founded the Organic Agriculture Association (OAA), which focuses on the promotion of sustainable rural development in Albania,. He currently serves as its executive director. Since its establishment, OAA has been a key player in environmental movements in Albania.
Mr. Ferruni has been actively involved in waste management issues since 2004. He implemented a project for cleaning waste in the tourist area of Dukati and beginning in 2010, has been part of the leadership of a campaign to stop the import of waste in Albania. In 2011, the Ministry of Environment in Albania certified Mr. Ferruni as an environmental expert. Over the past 10 years, he has published more than 500 articles in newspapers and has participated in over 100 televised debates.
Burim Haxholli, Kosovo
Burim Haxholli holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is the executive director of FOCUS, a Kosovar NGO. Mr. Haxholli is the deputy head of the Prishtina Youth Network and a member of ICBL and MCMC.
Selim Jashari, Kosovo
Selim Jashari is a systems administrator at FSK. He attended “Xhevdet Doda” Gymnasium from 1999–2003 and UPFIEK.
Marijana Kljajic, Montenegro
Marijana Kljajic earned her IV degree as a commercial technician in Berane. In 1995 she married her husband Milan. She and her family live in Milan’s rural home inherited from his father in the village of Lubnice. Ms. Kljajic’s father- and grandfather-in-law are well-known beekeepers.
Ms. Kljajic has an organic apiary and is engaged in agricultural production, especially in raspberry production. She possesses a small amount of livestock. Mr. and Mrs. Kljajic have four children: three daughters, ages 16, 11, and 7, and a 15-year-old son. The family’s interest in beekeeping and agricultural production is evident in her son, who is also an excellent student, and despite his youth, possesses extensive knowledge and experience in these areas. During the farming season, the entire family is involved in agricultural work. In addition to her agricultural work, Ms. Kljajic has worked as a farm advisor for microcredit bank Agro Invest for 13 years.
Natasa Medjedovic, Montenegro
Natasa Medjedovic is one of the founders of SOS Hotline for Women and Children Victims of Violence Niksic, an organization founded in 1998 that works to promote and protect women’s and children’s rights and fight against all types of discrimination and violence against women and children. She currently serves as the executive coordinator for the organization, a program coordinator in the Program for Marginalized Groups of Women and Children and the Program for Cooperation, and as a trainer in the Women Can Do It program.
As a result of her leadership skills, Ms. Medjedovic is actively involved in all aspects of the organization from the helpline to the signing of the Declaration on Gender Equality by political parties. In 2009, she assisted with the establishment of Rukatnice, a women’s craft cooperative that serves as a successful alternative and innovative model in the employment of REA women in Niksic and Montenegro. The cooperative was the first of its kind in Montenegro. Ms. Medjedovic holds a number of international and national certificates related to women’s leadership, democracy, and the protection of children and women’s rights.
Margarita Poposka, Macedonia
Margarita Poposka is a project manager of the Biosfera Center for Education, Environment and Nature Protection, an organization that aims to educate youth about sustainable development and protecting the environment in Macedonia.
Iris Sojli, Albania
Upon returning to Albania after 20 years abroad, Iris Sojli has coordinated projects for the Social Stimulating Alternative Program (SSAP) since 2010. During her time abroad, she lived, studied, and worked in Athens, Paris, and Rome, where in addition to her research and degrees in literature, she gained experience in community work as a volunteer. Coming from a family that was persecuted during the Communist regime, Ms. Sojli grew up in an area of Tirana populated by Roma people. This is one of the reasons why she is very active and sensitive toward conditions for this population.
Anica Spasov, Serbia
Ms. Spasov holds a degree in chemistry from Belgrade University with a specialization in medical biochemistry. She is the mother of a disabled boy. Fifteen years ago, she gathered parents of disabled children in the Zvezdara municipality in Belgrade and established the association, Our House. In 2002, the first daycare center run by a CSO was established within Our House as an alternative to state institutions. She has initiated numerous projects and services for disabled persons and recently has become engaged in social entrepreneurship.
Sanja Stankovic, Montenegro
Sanja Stankovic has worked as a private entrepreneur at Start Design Studio D.O.O., in Bar, Montenegro since 2011. Upon founding her own company for interior design and discovering a lack of interest amongst clients for this area of interior design, Ms. Stankovic began making handmade souvenirs using seashells, stones, olive trees, and other natural products that are entirely based on local resources. Her handmade products unite tradition, creativity, aesthetics, humanity, the protection of flora, and remodeling. Presently, it yields small benefits and is a great experience for all participants in the supply chain.
Ms. Stankovic graduated from the IT-Academy for Print Design in Belgrade. She completed training in interior architecture design at the Kolarac Institute in Belgrade and at the Institute Callegri in Milan, where she studied under the famous Italian professor of architecture and design, Emanuel Corella.
Mirjana Stevanovic, Serbia
Ms. Stevanovic holds a MA in applied ecology and environmental protection and is certified to work with disabled children. She has been with Bridges for more than six years. Currently, she governs the association and is responsible for the implementation of its projects. She is the author of many projects dealing with the environment and people with disabilities. In 2011, Ms. Stevanovic’s project "With Health towards Poverty" won an international prize.
Vladimir Stojanovic, Serbia
Vladimir Stojanovic is a student at the Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation with experience in journalism and the civil society sector. He is a member of the NUNS (Independent Journalist Association). Mr. Stojanovic has served as chief of the CESID regional office in Vranje, chief of the Protecta office in Nis, program director at ABC Vranje, and editor of local Independent TV 017 in Vranje. Currently, he works as a program director at Optimist.
Iskra Stojkovska, Macedonia
Iskra Stojkovska is a multimedia director at the University of Cyril and Methodius in Skopje, Macedonia, and the co-founder and president of Front 21/42 an environmental NGO, which was established in 2005.
Zeqir Taga, Albania
Mr. Taga brings over 50 years of experience of expertise in aquaculture, including scientific research for artificial fish cultivation. He completed his studies in biology-chemistry in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Tirana University in 1963. In the past he has held several leading positions in the fishing enterprises in Durres and Kavaje, and has served as the director of the fishery department in the Ministry of Industry and Food in Tirana. From 2000–2007, Mr. Taga was the national coordinator for a World Bank pilot project on the development of fishery in Albania. Since 1997, he has served as the chair of the Professional Fishermen’s Association. He has held several specializations in the field of aquaculture, including Italy, China, and Japan. Mr. Taga is the author of a series of publications on fishery and aquaculture, and of several technical projects in the field.
Jeton Zhupi, Kosovo
Jeton Zhupi holds a degree in economics, management, and finance from the University of Prishtina. He currently is an experienced business developer and international trade specialist at the manufacturing trading company “J-PRO” LLC. From 2004–2006, he was a liaison officer and was responsible for international communications at Dukagjini Kross Regional Development Agency, and from 2002–2004, he was the regional sales manager at Meridian Company in Prizren. He has previously worked for the regional documentation office of the OSCE and UN Joint Task Force, Doctors Without Borders, Ajans France Press, and as an interpreter and office translator for the Kosovo Verification Mission of the OSCE.