In March, Marleen Armei joined the Human Rights Centre. She is helping us bring human rights closer to the people of Estonia by involving local communities, large and small, in thinking and acting on human rights and bringing together all those who want to stand up for human rights. For example, one of Marleen’s tasks is coordinating the activities of the Centre’s volunteers and human rights ambassadors. Marleen herself has been a volunteer and human rights ambassador at the centre. We asked Marleen how she feels about her new role as a community leader.
How have you settled in?
As always – you can observe your new colleagues with curiosity, and you have to get used to the new acronyms and everything else in the new position. Of course, I am thrilled, but at the same time, I am all of a sudden surrounded by many complex issues, including everything going on in Ukraine. Fortunately, instead of sadness, there is a desire to see the bigger picture and try to find solutions.
What did you do previously?
I just graduated as a masseur. It’s something grounding and real, as a counterweight to all the screens. In school, I have been in different fields of design. I have gained work experience in start-ups and a corporation and youth work and running my own business with a friend.
What human rights issues get to you the most?
I think one of the main societal issues is judging other people. The saddest thing to me is when people don’t have their own homes.
Why did you want to work for the Human Rights Centre?
Last year, I joined the centre as a volunteer and later continued to be a part of the centre as a human rights ambassador. In doing so, I got a closer look at how this small group of people is doing things so efficiently and effectively. I find this admirable! I want to be more proactive in applying this inner and relatively widespread desire to “help the world”, to learn from the pros and to do something tangible to help out.
What are you expecting from the centre’s community leaders’ role?
There will be a lot of communication and discussions with people. I will not forget that those involved need to be listened to and their views examined. I want volunteers and human rights ambassadors to find enthusiasm, motivation, and recognition. And that through them, more people in Estonia would receive information about the centre’s activities and human rights in Estonia.
Welcome to the team, Marleen!
Since you are here...
It is important to protect everyone’s human rights, because it helps to keep stability and peace in the society. There are many challenges for protection of human rights in Estonia: intolerance has really come out of the closet. Bad things happen when good people are too passive, but together we can make a change.
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