YEREVAN, JUNE 20, ARTSAKHPRESS. Exchange of experience, development of skills, creation of ties and a new breath to the community life: “Diaspora Youth Ambassador” program of the Office of High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs of Armenia is providing these and other opportunities for already the second time.
20 young people from 16 countries of the world participated in the program last year. They had a chance to be in Armenia and Artsakh for two weeks, participate in trainings, workshops, have meetings and get necessary political, economic, social, cultural, educational and other information.
After returning back they are obliged to come up with projects and initiatives in their communities, by investing the experience and knowledge gained in Armenia.
Representative of the Office of High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, program manager, Greta Mnatsakanyan told ARMENPRESS that the program aims at assisting Diaspora-Armenian youth to be actively engaged in community life and improve their knowledge and skills for conducting more effective activity in their communities.
“The program enables to upgrade their knowledge and establish new ties. Within the frames of the program, they visit the state structures of Armenia and Artsakh and have a number of meetings. For instance, in Artsakh we had a meeting with the President, the Speaker of Parliament and the Foreign Minister. They got acquainted with a total of 200 people within the framework of the program, and this already allows to directly work with these people. In addition, the participants become the partners of our Office and raise different issues relating to their communities, try to understand how this or that problem could be solved”, she said.
The next key process is that the participants themselves share their experience with community works. They have different skills, are from different countries and have their own experience of successful programs. For instance, a participant from Russia highlighted the experience of the participant from France, which supposes improving education through games.
Harutyun Chatoyan was one of the participants of the program. He was from Chita. In an interview to ARMENPRESS, he said that when he was informed about the program, he was engaged that time with the activities on creating an Armenian cultural educational center of the Trans-Baikal region.
“I thought that within the frames of this program I will acquire sufficient skills and knowledge in the homeland for the effective activity of the Armenian center. Thanks to the program, I became more confident, started to better speak in Armenian. After getting acquainted with my colleagues from different countries, who already reached some success, I understood that I can take their experience and localize it, by taking into account the needs of our community”, he said.
As an example, he said that he introduced the Armenian language teacher of their center with the colleague from France for exchanging experiences. Shortly afterwards, the number of those wishing to attend the Armenian language courses organized in Chita has greatly increased.
Another participant Sona Baghumyan lives in Belgium for over 20 years. During the 2020 Artsakh War, she was thinking of being useful somehow to the Homeland. And during the war Sona started her activities in the Armenian community of Belgium.
“After learning about the “Diaspora Youth Ambassador” program, I thought it would be useful, and I would be able to do something for our state, for our community. The meetings, that lasted for two weeks, enabled to better know the situation in Armenia and Artsakh, better understand how the Diaspora could help. One of the best achievements is that we managed to create such a connection in the team through which we are conducting a teamwork in different areas”, Sona said. She organized awareness-raising campaigns on repatriation and return of Armenian captives from Azerbaijan. Sona also organized a discussion on the attempts to normalize the Armenian-Turkish relations.
The deadline for applying to the program is until July 1. There are already applications from Russia, Georgia, European countries and the United States.
The program will be implemented from September 25 to October 8, 2022.
This year as well 20 young people will participate in the program.
Interview by Anna Gziryan