My story of volunteering with APY

by Nonna Hovhannisyan, APY Volunteer

10676158_816765975044813_754716978132158981_nAPY (Armenian Progressive Youth) is a place, where a volunteer is appreciated and a place that gives mass of opportunities to achieve your goals and dreams. Many times being in a new community we try hard to become a part of the group doing our best to succeed. Sometimes our attempts turn to have been in vain. However, for me, this doesn’t apply to APY at all.

I got accepted to volunteer with APY in March 2015 and being a newbie I have never felt like an outsider. Warm environment, interesting events, suggestions; time just disappears here and for any young person getting away from reality sometimes can be a necessity. Being a part of this world, one shouldn’t forget about his or her responsibilities that are the unbreakable part of every day. Here, everyone has their tasks that are essential to develop one’s personal skills. Being in the PR team, in a short time I have already attended mass of interesting events and got some experience in running them as well.

It is interesting to have the opportunity to do things in fields that have direct connection with my major and the things I like as well. Overall, let me just say that APY is a big family which is always there to welcome anybody.

How to survive the multicultural society?

by Dave Poghosyan, APY Volunteer

Unity of cultural diversity is and has always been one of the strongest factors of human nature’s further development. But still no matter how far we go into science and Mother Nature, there are still dozens of factors which represent barriers for effective “human race” communication process. The training course «How to Survive the Multicultural Society» organized by Armenian Progressive Youth NGO (Armenia) and JUB International (the Netherlands) was implemented with  teaching methods that supported participants not get confused and actually understand “how to survive in multicultural society”.

We were from different corners of the word. Indeed each of us was different from others but for none of us that weren’t strange as none of us was feeling more special as all of us was special in our own way. We cooperated with each other and discovered that how enormous strength is being united and how wealthy we become with our diversity, too.

Non-formal education was leading our way every morning. Intercultural love becomes a factor to hold on and never give up with positive hopes about the future. We learnt respect while being respected, to hear by being heard, to see the whole picture by being part of it and to care more as everyone was carrying about us. Life will go on, it will change, change us as well. But the plants of “peace”, “friendship” and “care” that we grew in our hearts will never make us to change the attitude to each other and to world because we for see each of us is part of big world, big diversity, big future.

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Trainers Against Discrimination

by Vahe Tumanyan, APY Volunteer

Training of Trainers “Trainers against discrimination” is a project implemented in three phases. The first ToT was conducted on September 9-16, Rustavi, Georgia. During the training 18 participants from Armenia, Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Poland and Croatia gathered together to further develop their competences and skills as trainers. Furthermore, the training aimed at evolving participants’ skills on how to facilitate a simulation game. After a 7-day intensive work the group created a new simulation game which reflected the issue of discrimination.

The training was followed by a practical phase where participants implemented the game in their own countries. On 30th and 31st of November 2015 several young people gathered together at ”Institute For Democracy And Human Rights (IDHR)” NGO’s office to participate in a simulation game powered by ”Armenian Progressive Youth” NGO. Simulation game is a model of demonstrating the reality when the participants play certain roles and develop alternative approaches to problem-solving. Besides, simulation games are very useful tools to create trust among people. Before starting the game the participants had the opportunity to get to know each other better via some funny games.

The topic of the simulation game was national minorities’ issue. The participants were given a situation often encountered in life, everyone had his or her own role in it and they had to discuss the issue and find the best solution to it.

The aim of the game was to increase the awareness of national minorities’ integration and current problems among the young people, to create a platform to discuss discrimination and conflict issues and to help participants develop new skills and competences. The game was implemented in English because some of the participants were APY EVS program volunteers.

The project was held by ”Creative Development Center” and ”CRISP” organization, after which followed the meeting of the trainers in Split, Croatia. During the meeting the participants evaluated on the games implemented in their local realities. They shared experiences, good and bad practices, challenges they faced as facilitators and established networks for future cooperation.  The training gave the participants unique opportunity to learn to use a simulation game as a powerful tool in dealing with a wide spread discrimination issue and provide young people with a platform where they can make their own decisions and come up with solutions to the problem.

Rock with APY

Rock music is not just some style of music, it is precisely the one, in which youth will continue living in our souls and it’s the one which raises the feeling of freedom of self-expression and makes many youngsters more self-confident than any other condition can ever make.

On 27th of August there was a huge event for rock music lovers in Irish pub organized by APY volunteers Nonna Hovhannisyan and Dave Poghosyan. The place was fulfilled with youth spirit and energy which also resulted for high mood greetings for two cool Armenian rock bands: “Fairwind” and “Route 11” whom we were honored to meet in Irish pub.

The event itself was about mixing youth life’s corners with volunteering and appropriately before all got started APY’s volunteers showed several short-films which they had made. There was an informative short-film about being a volunteer made by active media group member of APY Khachatur Tovmasyan and two others about generally Armenian folk and rock music mad by talented volunteer Karina Mikayelyan which was followed by applauses.

APY was also very glad about “Route 11” band’s member Nare Nikoyan who is still involved in volunteering and at the same time she is deeply involved in rock music culture as she is one of the singers of “Route 11” and “Nairi” rock bands. The event was organized well but it could not been even better without “Fairwind” and “Route 11”s’ performances as if the informative part was insured by APY’s volunteers’ hardworking result the high mood and active atmosphere was continuously insured by this two great Armenian rock bands. We can proudly announce that Armenian Progressive Youth in cooperation with Irish pub, “Fairwind” and “Route 11” bands made everybody’s evening.

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Chance to come closer to Europe

All of us dream about success and luck but neither success nor luck manage to visit us all. Sometimes all we need is more information about more opportunities but no matter how hard we search, if we seek in wrong place we’ll never find the needed chance.

On May 8 APY volunteers implemented campaign disseminating Erasmus+ opportunities for Armenian Youth. A group of ambitious youngsters from Armenian Progressive Youth NGO decided to share with young part of the society opportunities of studying and getting experience abroad. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, we must build a door”. Studying opportunities are everywhere but unfortunately not every faced lesson can be useful for our further activities or future success. And for pushing youth to better future Armenian Progressive Youth’s active volunteers decided to make an event of sharing information about access to abroad education in shapes of Erasmus+ opportunities.

APY volunteers distributed fliers informing about the opportunities available for Armenian Youth and disseminated them near universities and public places where young people come together. The main aim was raising awareness about world’s opportunities regarding studying and youth exchanges with educational purpose.

Hovsep Karoyan is an APY volunteer. He studies in University and already used several opportunities given by Erasmus+ and Youth in Action programs. He told us that he’s very happy to have a chance of sharing some valuable information with his society and being useful for some Young people future career. He said that the most important gift for him is feeling himself helpful for something or somebody. “Life is given once. If we want to be successful we must never skip opportunities of life as well as some of them will never be met again. I wish that all Armenian youngsters will manage to use the given opportunities”,-added Hovsep while sharing his motivation with us. The action was implemented as contribution to Europe day information week taking place in Armenia during May, 2015.

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