The World Lithuanian Youth Association (PLJS) unites Lithuanian youth throughout the diaspora, promoting Lithuanian culture in a wide number of communities and encouraging participation in various projects.
Agita Beržanskaitė, who lives in The Netherlands, was recently elected the new president of the Association. Indrė Pliuškytė-Zalieckienė interviewed her for the World Lithuanian Community magazine Pasauliolietuvis.lt.
Together with her team Agita hopes to fulfill the goals outlined at the youth congress. Her career as a youth activist began in her native Varėna, Lithuania, where she chaired the local chapter of the Young Conservative League and was a membr of the district’s youth council. Currently she is studying international public policy at The Hague University, and is aiming for work in international politics.
Upon moving to the Netherlands, Agita organized a student group to help Lithuanian students there, and met former PLJS president Rimvydas Rubavičius, who encouraged her to join PLJS. She is motivated by the motto Be the change you want to see in the world, and wants young people to be heard and to discover their potential. Agita was also one of the founders of the Safe Haven project at her university.
For Agita, the World Lithuanian Youth Association is the voice of Lithuanian youth in the diaspora. The executive board’s mission is to ensure the future of PLJS as a dynamic and effective organization to preserve Lithuanian identity abroad, to participate in the policy development of the World Lithuanian Community. Forseeable projects will be related to the upcoming referendum and the retention of Lithuanian citizenship, the psychological health of the Lithuanian diaspora, youth organizations in South America, and Lithuanian language learning. Another area needing attention is Lithuanian youth in Eastern countries.
Being Lithuanian is an intrinsic part of her identity. Lithuanian is the language she is most comfortable speaking and it ties her to the nation, its culture and its ideals, which are top of mind for her. She says that history, which describes the efforts of our forefathers to create the Lithuanian nation, shows that it is our mission is to preserve and continue it. The fact of being Lithuanian gives her courage.