Almir Tahiri is a very ordinary young man from Herceg Novi. He graduated from the Faculty of Political Science, went on to study at the Central European University in Budapest, and by chance took a job at a foreign company in his hometown.

During his studies in Podgorica, he was active in the civic sector, engaging in Roma policies in an effort to ease the situation in his community. After his studies and with his job, he says he felt the need to volunteer to work with Roma children in Herceg Novi.

“I teach them English and Russian. I tell them about the difficulties they may face at home and school. I tell them about the opportunities that await them and what knowledge provides. I tell them about my visit to the United States, where I was able to travel to thanks to a student exchange programme. I tell them that the purpose of life is to make the most out of the opportunities it has to offer,” Almir tells us.

Almir is active in helping the community in the fight against the coronavirus. He says it was necessary to explain the measures introduced by the government. Consequently, he worked on recording video messages in Romani, translating various materials needed to explain to the community the reasons why it is necessary to stay home.

When that was over, it was necessary to help those without the resources to stay home. Almir was actively involved in the distribution of EU-funded assistance distributed by the NGOs HELP and “Phiren Amenca”. Only through this action, basic necessity packages were distributed to 400 Roma families in Niksic, Berane, Bijelo Polje, and Herceg Novi.

For Almir, this was not enough. He and his brothers applied as volunteers at the Red Cross. Now the Tahiri brothers are available to anyone who needs help. He says that the situation in the Roma community in Herceg Novi is quite complex, but that they will manage. They’ll stay home until all of this is over and Almir has one piece of advice for them and all of us:

“Sit at home and use the time you have now wisely. Learn something new. Some foreign language for example. It is a mistake to spend time on meaningless things. We need to get out of this situation smarter,” says Almir Tahiri.

And this can be a message for all of us. As Almir said, we should come out of this situation smarter.