Analysis

Fostering Hope: Jelisaveta Tomovic

Recently, I decided to interview Jelisaveta Tomovic; the humble 27-year-old, LookZaya fashion blogger influencer, Western Europe Regional Director of 28. Jun, and the founder of Squad Plan — a company that specializes in management of social media accounts for mid-sized Luxury, Fashion and Food firms. Additionally, she has a passion for helping others and making the world a better place.

Jelisaveta’s journey began when she was a child living in Switzerland. Her mother — a passionate humanitarian herself — felt that sending clothes, food parcels, toys, and other basic necessities back to Serbia after the US and Germany ended sanctions, and once NATO bombing ended, was the moral thing to do. Jelisaveta felt deeply about the connection she had with those poor people, and at age 8 she unflinchingly donated a significant portion of her clothes, toys, and other items to the families in Serbia who had virtually nothing.

“My parents always helped other families in the Balkans during the war; I think that is why they raised me to care so much and because I feel so connected to charity and humanitarian work. I remember when I told my parents and my family in Montenegro that I was starting to volunteer for 28. Jun; they were so proud of me that they started to cry,” she told me. The suffering of ordinary people in Serbia was too much for Jelisaveta to handle, and with anger-filled tears in her eyes she asked, “Why do some people have more and others have less?”

This question also became one of the driving forces behind Jelisaveta’s compassionate humanitarian work. Convinced that helping others was her calling, Jelisaveta became a volunteer.

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On November 29, 2018 Jelisaveta spoke at the United Nations in front of 122 countries and assorted NGO’s. Her focus was to let the world know exactly how much the Serbian people are still facing extreme discrimination, and to emphasize how the universal human right of basic humanitarian aid is still being blocked from entering Serbia at the border. And with the fire of determination and passion, Jelisaveta’s voice echoed through the chamber of the United Nations:

“28. Jun will continue to fight for minority rights in the Western Balkans because in order for us to do our humanitarian work, people of all ethnicities need to be able to live freely and with dignity in a shared homeland.” She continued to express the sincere hope that the world would hear her pleas and those of the Serbian people who are still suffering within the former Yugoslavian region.

After wrapping up the interview with Jelisaveta I asked her if there were a quote that she lived by and if she could say something to everyone on the planet what would it be? She shared these powerful words with me, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have,” and, “It is so easy to be nice! Help, care and just love one another.”

SquadPlan

Look Zaya

28. Jun

Jelisaveta’s speech to United Nations

Curtis Albers is a former abused foster care child survivor turned Army Ranger. He enjoys traveling, learning about other cultures, astronomy and generally enjoys interacting with other human beings who are just as optimistic, interesting, creative and passionate as him.

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Mic-Mac
Member
Mic-Mac

Thank you Curtis for sharing the story of this beautiful women with a beautiful mind and kindness of heart.

georgehand
Member

This is interesting to me, chiefly from the perspective developed by my time in the Balkans at the buzz of the UN-imposed cease fire. While I viewed Serbs as the “bad guys,” the aggressors and scourge of the fall of Yugoslavia, other Delta men from other parts of the Balkans returned with different points of view of who was who in that civil war. They saw the muslim-dominated Bosna i Herzegovina, primarily the capitol city Sarajevo where I was, to be the cornerstone of the problem… all of which coaxes me to assimilate this as simply the story of the… Read more »

Susan B
Member

Okay…so now I have to go find a good history (or three) of that war. It blew by my radar while it was going on. (Sorry.) Now I would like to see backgrounds of all the nations involved. Any book recommendations, Geo?

Mic-Mac
Member
Mic-Mac

Susan, I can recommend two, “Love Thy Neighbor”. One review of the book “What Michael Herr’s Dispatches was to the Vietnam War, Love Thy Neighbor is to the Bosnian War–a brilliantly observed and deeply felt evocation of war by a writer who witnessed it”. YP had recommended Dispatches, and it was excellent. One of those books you read every vew years. Love Thy Neighbor, was shocking. The atrocities committed by the Serbs, and often by the victims own Neighbors of whom they were once friends. Another “The Butcher Trail”. It must have been hell on earth and men like geo… Read more »

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