Marisha Mikiashvili, a student at Leiden University in The Hague, is a clear example of the fact that if you want something bad enough, there’s no reason you can’t get it. After finishing school, she decided to continue her studies at a European university, seeking new challenges and to get to know a foreign culture. She was offered funding by leading universities in Spain, France and Italy, although her main target was the Netherlands.
“When I sent the application to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, I didn’t think I’d get through, because it was very difficult to get into my program and to beat the competition,” she tells us. “When I heard I’d got into the international relations program, I was overjoyed. I finally decided to continue my studies in The Hague.”
It was not easy to go it alone in a foreign country, in a strange environment, but she says she aims never to miss an opportunity.
“Despite the fact that at first it was difficult for me to get out of my comfort zone, I soon realized that discomfort eventually leads to success.”
She recently became the Young Ambassador of Georgia to the Netherlands. The program “Be a young ambassador of your country” is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and allows young people living abroad to become “young ambassadors,” with a mandate of one year. The main goal of the program is for the chosen ones to help in the promotion of Georgia and protect the interests of the country.
It is crucial to embrace all the possibilities we encounter and remain open to what we see and hear, even if we perceive something as impossible, we should remember that nothing is truly impossible
“I took part in the grant project of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and won,” she tells us proudly. She says she wants to spend that one year productively, and she wants to use the opportunity to represent her country to the Netherlands.
“I plan to implement many interesting projects that will promote European integration, and introduce Europe to the rich history and culture of Georgia. I plan to hold various exhibitions, lectures, panel discussions and shoot a short film. For me, this is a great responsibility and I am ready to serve my country.”
Along with the embassy, Marisha also works in the non-governmental organization “Youth Peace Initiative,” the main goal of which is to involve young people in politics, diplomacy and peace issues.
Marisha is the Chief Fundraising Officer, thanks to which she has close relations with representatives of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, foreign ministers and ambassadors of the EU countries. She is proud of the fact that she is a member of an organization where only young people work.
“There are only young people in our organization and we prove to everyone around us how important it is to involve young people. We are the future of our country and the whole world, the future political, economic and social situation of the country depends on us, which means that all young people must take their share of responsibility so that our future is protected.”
According to her, in our time, the opinion of young people is not taken into account and they are often ignored, even though “new blood” ideas, a different perspective and attitude are often the best way to develop. She emphasizes the need to listen to and involve youth in the life of the country, and in solving important issues.
“It saddened me that they did not attach much importance to the opinion of our teenagers. Over time, I realized how necessary it is to involve young people in any issue that concerns our present day and future. I believe most of all that every person has the right to express their opinion and every idea or opinion is very important and interesting in its own way.
It is especially important for Georgia to listen to its future generation because, as she says, “Now we are fighting various political, economic and social challenges, it is necessary to have a new vision, a new attitude and changes that we young people offer to the world.”
One of her favorite topics is women’s rights and women’s involvement in the political, economic and social spheres. Among other things, she is an academic consultant at the “International Law Development Organization” in The Hague, an intergovernmental organization that serves to promote the rule of law.
“As an academic consultant, I work on a project on online gender-based violence against women and conduct various studies and develop recommendations on gender equality. In my opinion, the role of women in politics and not only in politics is vital, something which can lead to the legitimacy and effectiveness of democracy inside and outside the country.”
The story of Marisha Mikiashvili, a young ambassador of Georgia, a fighter for women’s rights, a member of an NGO and a socially active student, can serve as an example for any young person that nothing is impossible and the respect of other people, enthusiasm and determination are the most important keys on the way to success.