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Men in the Movement: Altin Hazizaj
Inspirational people are everywhere around us. Some of them are responsible for amazing inventions that have changed our world forever. Others have made contributions to building nations, strengthening communities, and advocating peace. However, we often don't need to look too far because the people we look up to are a part of our daily lives.
A leading figure in Albanian civil society and general director of Children's Human Rights Centre of Albania (CRCA), Altin Hazizaj also happens to be the person I have been working for over the last year. To me, inspiration is the process of instilling faith in someone by motivating them to be the best at what they do. Many people who have this ability and passion to change people’s lives do not realize the effect they have on those surrounding them.
Altin has an outlook on life I highly respect and admire. Born at a time when Albania was closed off from the rest of the world, Altin was a teenager before Albania entered the world again. He was one of many young Albanians whose hopes and dreams were subjected to the threat of harsh censorship and oppression. Still, he dedicated his life to the advancement of human rights in his country and engaged in the protection of children’s and young people’s rights by giving them a voice in Albanian society.
As the general director of CRCA, Altin was the first Ambassador of PINK Embassy's LGBT PRO Albania, a major LGBT rights organization in the country. He is actively involved in the advancement of women’s rights and stands behind all social, political, and legal initiatives to advance their empowerment. It is hard to meet an Albanian man who is so strongly committed to the protection and advancement of those who are typically considered to be the weakest links in society, but Altin respects all its members and treats them with dignity. His contribution to the advancement of human rights in Albania is an inspiration to all young activists and professionals, who sometimes forget to look around them and thank those who blazed the trail for us.
Mersila Ballo is the Assistant Manager of the Children's Human Rights Centre of Albania.