Ermioni Lena, one of the students from the PTPI Student chapter-Gjirokastra, submitted a thoughtful and inspiring essay describing her experience as a member of PTPI and what it means to be human in a troubled world.
5 Minutes with Ermioni Lena
Every day I wake up, and when I am in front of the mirror I ask myself, "who are you and what do you want to be?". My answer is - "all I want is just to be a human person."
Every day that passes we are less human. Why? Because our small isolated world is surrounded by money, power and glory. Out of our personal world there are a lot of problems. One day I thought more about it. If we look beyond what we see, we will understand how many people need us, how many pains we can heal, how many good deeds we can do, how much happiness we can bring. World peace comes from the soul of human nature, so what are we waiting for? It was this thought that made me be a part of the nonprofit organization, People to People International.
People to People International has a mission to enhance international understanding and friendship through educational, cultural and humanitarian activities. This way it can be an active force in creating and sustaining a more peaceful world.
I have been a member of People to People International-Gjirokastra for more than 2 years now. Being a member of People to People International is one of the most unique experiences I have ever had. We exchange ideas and experiences among people of different countries and diverse cultures. That's how we strengthen our network, create connections, and allow members to learn about other cultures and break down barriers to peace and understanding.
There are about 24 members in our chapter that is called Student Chapter. We promote peace through understanding in our school or community on a daily basis. Chapters, the backbone of People to People International, organize a lot of projects, so we do. We work very hard on them and have a great time together. Working together, we enhance team-building skills. One of our projects was making Christmas cards full of colors and love. Since it is our first Christmas cards-project ever, our goal was to achieve approximately 50 Christmas cards, which we eventually accomplished. We sold the cards at the Christmas concert, and we were able to raise even more money for our project. Astonishingly, we were more successful than we imagined. With those cards, we intended to do fundraising in order to purchase necessary items, clothes and food for orphan children. We first prepared the cards and then decorated them. Besides making the cards, we had the chance to meet and to chat with each other about our school life and our plans for Christmas. Another project at Christmas time was giving gifts and food for the families in need. These made them happy-and that's what our mission is.
As a member of People to People International, my day is more active and I love it because I am a girl full of energy. We as a chapter of People to People International have organized a lot of activities. Giving ideas how to make others happy is my favorite part. I am full of new ideas. I have met a lot of new friends. I am very sociable and I reflect this from the very first moment you meet me.
My friends and I work really hard for People to People International's mission. Thanks to this organization, I have learnt more about the problems that people all around the world face every day. I have learnt more about different cultures. All these opportunities help me to develop my leadership skills. Being aware of different problems helps us to solve them. Even though we can't solve all the problems, at least we try. Real life is full of problems and getting involved into it makes me very social.
Our greatest test is when we are able to bless someone else while we are going through our own storm. We are human and act like humans. I try, and I feel better.
- Ermioni Lena, PTPI Student chapter-Gjirokastra