Suela Duma Marku
Teacher, Goshen School District
Suela Duma Marku is a Human Rights activist, teacher, literacy advocate and a mom of three. Born during Communism in Albania, she experienced first hand the tyranny and the iron hand of the regime. When the Iron Curtain fell, Albania went through a system change, which found her a young student with a burning desire to learn.
Suela graduated with Honors from University of Tirana for English Translation Studies. While in college, she was an International Debate Champion, and mastered 3 foreign languages. She started work with Save the Children during the Kosovar War Crisis and was awarded the Gallantry Award from Queen Elizabeth II for her efforts to help children during this time of hardship. She was initiator of many child rights initiatives, including Child Led Groups which re-wrote the United Convention on the Rights of the Child in a way that was easily understood by children and Education Program which trained educators across Albania in more efficient teaching ways, while always keeping the best interest of children in mind.
Her main project as a Child Rights Advocacy and Protection Manager was the establishment of the first Ombudsman for Children in Albania. The Ombudsman is still up and running and it is one of her pride and joy moments. After two years of studying at London School of Economics for Politics seen through the lense of Human Rights, Suela honed her managing skills as a Youth Leader for the London underprivileged youth through programs run by All Souls Church. Now as mother of three, she dedicated sometime to raising her young family and at the same time help her community in New York, USA with fundraisers and other activities. Three years ago she started teaching in the Elementary School in her district. Suela has come to believe that now it is the time to start the change at a local level, with the children who are growing up with her own. Now equipped with the knowledge of five foreign languages, a lifelong children’s rights work, she has started a Masters of Teaching with the American University in Washington D.C. Suela aims to get her PhD as well in a matter of five years. Her secret weapon, besides her family and self-determination, is always redlipstick. It makes one’s smile even brighter.