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Stories of inspiration from Smart Girl Stories across the globe. Linda’s Rising From the Shadows of Communism to a Human Dignity Promoter

Linda’s Rising From the Shadows of Communism to a Human Dignity Promoter

When it comes to inspiration, we are surrounded daily by motivators such as quotes, inspiring videos of impactful leaders, and reading articles (such as this one) about great leaders who have broken barriers and crossed boundaries to achieve the impossible. In this navigating and never-ending circle of inspiration, few stories can touch as deeply as the one of Linda Baleta. Advocating over three decades (not years, DECADES) for those voices unheard, she is the trumpet and drums to the voices that deserve a place there. And she does not do this because she wants to be in the spotlight; she does it because “it’s the right thing to do, to promote human dignity,” as Linda says.

With over three decades dedicated to amplifying the muted voices around her, Linda has emerged as a beacon of hope and a promoter of human dignity.

A journey that it’s sowing the fruits that began seeding where nobody would imagine; from the rising falls of communism in ‘80s Albania.

Living In A Communist Albania: The Illusion Of Equality

When reading Orwell’s “Animal Farm”, one sentence stands out from everything else: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This pretty much sums up the life in the Communist Albania. Under the regime of Enver Hoxha, Linda’s childhood started in a world where everybody was equal, but of course, Enver Hoxha was more equal than all the others. Living in a communist society led to the illusion of equality when everything belonged to the state. A regime where individual freedom was an abstract notion rather than a reality. And even though she lived in a “privileged household,” as she calls it, due to her father’s diplomatic work, she was no exception to the freedom injustices.

“My father worked for foreign missions abroad, and I would say I was privileged from others, and I was lucky to be living on the bright side of things. My rights were not as limited as others, but it didn’t feel right. I wanted to work to promote dignity among all.”

Growing Up With Communism In Albania

“I grew up in Communist Albania, where the ‘70s were the rising years of communism in our country. Communism meant that everybody was equal and that our country cared for us.” Using these words, this world seemed like the perfect utopia. But it was the opposite. Being equal meant that nobody was above the law, nobody had rights; the state decided if you broke the law. “Enver Hoxha, our dictator, was the one we had to love and follow blindly. Everybody was equal. No one had the right to own anything because everything belonged to the state. Everything you would gain from producing, selling, or making would go to the state, and you would only get back a small share of that just to barely survive and to continue living another day.” So, what belonged to young Linda? A passion for reading that would become the setting stone for human advocacy many decades later.

A Childhood Under Watchful Eyes

For a child, it was difficult to distinguish right from wrong. Even teachers encouraged students to spy on each other if there was even the smallest hint of rebellion; there was only total and undoubting following of the regime. “I was a kid, and even the kids were spies. I remember teachers in school would encourage us to spy on kids who do not like Enver Hoxha or who say bad things about him. He was ‘the heart of our country,’ and we had to follow him blindly.”

When talking with Linda, she remembers an event that scared her as a kid. She found a French book that criticized Enver Hoxha, and this was banned at the time. Other kids found out and put her on trial, considering her a traitor to the country.

“My father had been working in foreign missions representing Albania and everybody would judge me saying that I am against our party and that I was a traitor. So, this was the perfect opportunity for them to judge me now. They started calling me traitor and I was just a kid.” She didn’t want these kids to put her on a trial, but they did, nonetheless. She felt scared and that she would be persecuted for something she did not do. “That event,” Linda says, “showed me how strong ideas can be and how much they can scare people who want to stay in charge.”

It was during these moments that sparks shaped her to be a fighter; to fight injustice.

The Setting Stones Of Advocacy  

Her passion for reading and writing was more than just a hobby. For her, it was a lifeline—her only chance to liberate herself from the society and create her own path and mindset in a world of system and order of limits.

“I had my first job ever when I was in 4th grade in the school library. My passion for reading was enormous and I chose to work there just because I wanted to be the first person to read the new books that they would bring every week. I wanted to escape the world of spying and limits and borders set on us by Communism and wanted to learn explore and become more knowledgeable. I knew that by knowing I would not be a prisoner of ignorance.” It was in the small halls of the school library that Linda discovered the limitless worlds and opportunities and the power of words and communication had. This would serve as a passion that would grow for her to continue her studies in English and continue communication mastering to give a voice for many.

“I wanted to work to promote dignity among all,” remembers Linda since when she was little. Little did she know, this passion would grow to become her full-time career path. The transition from a child under the shadow of communism to an advocate for human dignity was created through countless challenges. Each step of the way, Linda was guided by a deep-rooted belief in the power of communication and the importance of giving a voice to the voiceless. “My mission,” she states, “is to use storytelling as a tool for impact, to share the stories of those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Becoming A Human Dignity Promoter

Linda’s mission was clear: using her voice to raise those unheard. She says that we are lucky to be on the bright side of things and that being in such a place we need to support those less privileged. “We are lucky to be living on the bright side of things. When it comes to this, we need to use our ‘privilege’ for those who are underprivileged. It’s never about feeling superior; it’s the right and humane thing to do.”

After moving to Kosovo, she started giving voices to stories that were unheard of, not for the sake of promoting these women, but for giving a chance for them to have their story heard.

“I don’t help women; they don’t need my help. I promote roles, I do what I can to protect their dignity as human beings and teach them skills and knowledge that they need and that I can provide,” says Linda.


Linda’s advocacy has not only raised awareness of human rights issues but has also inspired others to join the cause. Through her work, she has facilitated dialogues, influenced policy, and contributed to a growing movement that aims to lift the marginalized and unheard.

One of her most remarkable contributions is her involvement in campaigns that focus on the rights of women and children in conflict zones. By bringing their stories to the forefront, Linda has helped shift the narrative from victimhood to resilience and strength. “These stories,” she explains, “are not just tales of suffering but of profound courage and hope.”

“Each challenge,” Linda asserts, “is an opportunity to learn, to adapt, and to grow stronger in our resolve.” Her continuous work and voice led to many lifechanging moments for many. Her vision for the world is simple: a world where dignity is not a privilege but a fundamental right for all. And she is achieving that through using Storytelling as a tool that breaks even the biggest of barriers.

About Linda

Communications and Advocacy Strategist, Human Dignity Promoter, Storyteller for impact. Linda Baleta is an advocacy and communications strategist, working with international organizations since 2000, with special focus in the Western Balkan / Eastern Europe region. Operating at them cross-section of communication for development and impact, public engagement, social inclusion, gender, storytelling for impact and media, women and youth empowerment, and knowledge management, Linda uses her skills and experience professionally and volunteers her time to contribute to the improvement of society, with a focus on promoting human dignity. When not at work, Linda loves to spend her time writing haiku and travel blogs.

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Edlira Dibrani

Edlira Dibrani

Hello there! I'm Edlira Dibrani, an avid reader and lover of words. An enthusiastic reader who finds solace and excitement within the pages of books. While I shy away from the label of a bookworm, books have been my constant companions throughout my life, paving the path toward my destiny as a writer. From crafting poems and essays in the 3rd grade to embracing the daily ritual of writing, my journey has been one of continuous exploration and growth in the vast universe of literature.


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