I have a right to express myself by Adea Pantinaj

I’m Adea Pantinaj, 15 years old from Peja, Kosovo. I was the only girl in the group when I registered which is why I felt a little lonely. Through time, I realized that, no matter how or what, I have a right to express myself and I don’t have to feel lonely, and also that YMCA doesn’t differentiate between any age, gender, religion, race, etc. 

Adea and her friends during their activities

When I’m at the YMCA I feel like I’m home. I’ve had some very lovely experiences in the organization, including the chance to try different kinds of art. 

I feel good every time I’m at the YMCA Peja center, and I always look forward to the next sessions as I have a lot of fun learning and hanging out with the friends I’ve made there. Everybody at the center is friendly which makes every session even more attractive. Right from the start, I learned a lot of things that nobody even mentioned in school, yet every individual should know. Besides this, I learned a lot of things about the organization and also learned that volunteering doesn’t know age. What I want to specifically mention is the Y’s Men club that helps our Charity shop by sending old clothes to sell and earn more money for our activities. This and the love that people have for each other are what mostly stood out to me. 

Adea and her friends cleaning the streets as part of their volunteer work

After finishing the second module in the Leadership training, I started my own Leadership group together with another peer trainer. This was another opportunity for me to have more lovely experiences, although it was a bit hard at first. As any other beginning, the first time as a peer trainer was a little stressful. I had a lot of questions going through my mind such as 'will I be clear when explaining topics, will the group members like how I treat different topics' and many other questions that made me feel insecure. Since I love the organization so much, I overcame the challenge and did quite well. Now I have a wonderful group, and I feel proud of myself for becoming a leader, and thankful for my peer trainers support.

Adea and her friends at Question Time event in Peja

I myself am finishing the third module of Leadership and I enjoy the sessions very much, and I can honestly say that ‘monotony’ doesn’t exist in this organization. Every session is more interesting than the last one, and each time I’m more convinced that volunteering is the best thing I could’ve learned in the YMCA.


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