Մեր կամավորների բնապահպանական դասընթացները Ա. Շիրակացու անվան ճեմարանում

Ինչպես գիտեք, ՀԱԵ-ում կա 4 աշխատանքային խումբ, որից մեկը մեր էկո-ակտիվիստ կամավորների բնապահպանական ակումբը կամ աշխատանքային խումբն է։ Այս տարվա հոկտեմբերի 20-ից նրանք ակտիվ կերպով դասընթացներ են անցկացնում Ա. Շիրակացու անվան ճեմարանի միջին տարիքային աշակերտների հետ: Կամավորների նպատակը ոչ ֆորմալ կրթության միջոցով և ոչ ֆորմալ կրթական մեթոդները օգտագործելով դպրոցականներին տեղեկացնելն է շրջակա միջավայրին սպառնացող խնդիրների մասին և հարստացնել բնապահպանությանն ու շրջակա միջավայրի պահպանությանը վերաբերող գիտելիքներով: Առաջին դասընթացի ընթացքում կամավորները երեխաներին ներկայացրին ՛՛Աղբի նվազեցումը, վերաօգտագործումը և վերամշակումը՛՛ թեման, որն ինքնին ոչ այնքան ծանոթ ու շահարկված թեմա էր աշկաերտների շրջանում ըստ կամավորների և անտեղյակության պատճառով բազմաթիվ խնդիրներ է առաջացնում շրջակա միջավայրի անվտանգության համար:

15384358_10210142980723269_5876413984543816634_o Հանդիպման ընթացքում ՀԿ-ի կամավորները պատմեցին ՝ ինչպես կարելի է աղբից օգուտ ստանալ և ինչ քայլեր են անհրաժեշտ դրա վերամշակման և վերաօգտագործման համար: Անցկացվեցին նաև մի քանի խմբային պրակտիկ աշխատանքներ՝ համոզվելու, թե ինչպես են թեման յուրացրել աշակերտները: Դասի վերջում կամավորներից մեկը՝ Վահան Ղազարյանը, նրանց պատմեց իրական պատմություն այն մասին, թե ինչպես մի աղքատ իտալացի իր ձեռքով աղբից պատրաստած (պլաստիկ շշեր , սիլիկոն , պոլիէթիլենային տոպրակ) գլուխգործոցները վաճառում Միլանի նորաձևության համաշխաարհային փառատոններից մեկի ժամանակ և վաստակում կլորիկ գումար: Հետաքրքիր և անսովոր պատմությունն իրոք տպավորեց աշակերտներին, և նրանք ավելի խանդավառորեն սկսեցին վերաբերել դասընթացին: Առավել հաճախ արծարծվող թեմաների շարքում էր նաև Էներգիայի և ջրի խնայումը, դրանց ստացման այլընտրանքային ձևերը թեման: Դասի ընթացքում ներկայացվեց, թե ինչպես կարելի է խնայել էներգիա՝ օգտագործելով նոր սերնդի լամպեր, չմոռանալով անջատել լույսերը սենյակից դուրս գալիս , իջեցնել ջեռուցային համակարգի մարտկոցների ջերմաստիճանը գիշերը և այլն, անտեղի ջուր չվատնել ատամները լվալիս, լոգանք ընդունել ավելի կարճ ժամանակում և, իհարկե, մանրամասնորեն ներկայացվեց ջրի և էներգիայի ստացման այլընտրանքային միջոցները , դրանց արդյունավետությունը , ցուցադրվեցին անիմացիոն տեսահոլովակներ դրանց վերաբերյալ: Աշակերտներին նաև հանձնարարվեցին խմբային աշխատանքներ , տեղի ունեցավ շատ հետաքրքիր և բուռն քննարկում , և աշակերտները տվեցին իրենց հետաքրքրող բոլոր հարցերն ու կամավորների կողմից ստացան դրանց պատասխանները:
15578245_10210142974643117_7555972129441607028_oՄեր լուսանկարիչ-կամավոր Էլեն Բադալյանն էլ որսաց բազմաթիվ պահեր՝ ամբողջացնելով դասի դրական նկարագիրը : Հավելենք, որ ՀԿ-ի կամավորները այցելում են ճեմարան գրեթե ամեն հինգշաբթի՝անցկացնելու հերթական դասընթացը : Շուտով մեր կամավորները արդեն կամփոփեն դաընթացները ու սերտիֆիկատներ կհանձնեն աշակերտներին ամբողջական դասընթացի մասնակցության համար։

Özge Bozkaya’s EVS Experience in Armenia

Özge Bozkaya is from Turkey and this year has come to Armenia to do a 6-month-long European voluntary service (EVS). She tells that participating in projects related to promoting human rights in different societies has always been an important part of her life. “Because of this”, she explains, “the EVS experience was an opportunity to participate in projects focused on social development. «For me”, she continues, “being the part of projects related to human rights is  important for my self-development. So first of all, I applied to an EVS programme for the opportunity to work with what I am genuinely interested in».

15300518_10210006931122114_1292518759_n-1«The second reason for me to be involved in this programme was my curiosity about Armenia, Armenians, Armenian culture and Armenian peoples’ perspective on the Turkish identity. Also, my master thesis was related to Armenian students and academics’ perspective on the EU membership of Turkey. EVS gave me the chance to meet with a new culture and try to promote some of the rights I stand for in Armenia. It was a really unique experience.”

Özges was involved in the “Local Events group” at APY, and her main task was about promoting human rights for minorities in Armenia. They were together creating ideas and events that would be beneficial for the Armenian society. “Participating in the events that we organized, offered me new skills and experiences for my future life.One of the best experiences I had with the APY was to shoot a video about antiracism.  16 nationalities came together with the idea of shooting video for prevention of racism. And we were really pleased to have common feelings about the topic. It was really good to get to know them.

Özge has been in many countries in the world. However, she says, Armenia was special to me. “There are some reciprocal prejudices between Turkish and Armenian identities. This I was well-prepared for coming to Armenia. My first aspiration when integrating with Armenian culture was to be an “unbiased human”. Because by breaking walls between nationalities you destroy prejudices. It was a truly unique experience for me as a Turk and an opportunity to develop myself and my skills about integrating another cultures.”

Furthermore, she remembers the social life as a big part of her experience. “I shared many amazing moments with my Armenian friends. Although my EVS programme ended 7 months ago, I still keep in touch with my close friends from Armenia. This makes me really happy.”

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Even though Özge really enjoyed her stay in Armenia, there were some things that she never got used to. One of those things were the “mashrutka”, the mini vans that are used for public transport. “Me and my Italian flatmate Ester were one day going to APY by mashrutka. The mashrutka was as usual very crowded and we had to stand the whole way. When we came closer to our stop, we tried to pronounce “kankarum bahek”, which mean “stop”. Ester shouted out: “Kangaroooooooooooooooooooooo” in the bus. Everybody was chocked and they were looking at Ester and me like we are from another world”.

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She describes APY as very helpful for the foreigner volunteers. “If we had any problems, the APY staff and members and the president Erik Ghazaryan always tried to find quick solutions. Also I really want to thank my mentor Tatev Grigoryan for all her help discovering Yerevan.”
“One of the main characteristic of being Armenian is their hospitality”, Özge remembers. ”I also really like Yerevan as a city. It is a city with a rich history and many inspirational places. So, Armenia and its people have special characteristics which is worth-seeing. If anyone wants a volunteering experience and at the same time to discover an original culture, I strongly advise them to choose Yerevan.I am sure they will enjoy their stay very much!”

Dave’s EVS Adventures in Malaga

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“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes, you may just find what you need”, Mick Jagger.

Have you noticed that we always rush not to lose time? Wish to be more was always a desire for “us” which I guess is the main factor that humanity always gets better and developed on any present to compare to any past and for even better future. Maybe that’s why we are called human “race”.

I am a volunteer in Spain from Armenia for one year in a beautiful city called Malaga.
It’s a historical city with a history of 2087 years, yep, almost as much as the capital of Armenia, just a bit younger. To compare to the place from where I come it is more hot so you can probably associate it as “Malaga is the younger hot sister of Yerevan”.

My occupation sounds like “assistant of the president of the NGO” which involves quite diverse responsibilities some of them I never faced in my life before. But no one ever said that life is easy so I am quite getting used to it especially with the desire to learn and experience new skills. Just in this case I don’t have other choices and, to be honest, it makes me more motivated.

It has been already two months that I am experiencing this new chapter of my life and I let me publicly announce about my excitements how interesting it is becoming day by day.

Intercultural experience is always amazing if you are not afraid of changes. 21th century is full of sources to theoretical knowledge about different cultures and mentalities of seven billion people living around us. But looking at a good picture of pie and tasting it by your own are never the same, right?

Practically feeling the various aspects of any culture only shapes vision about the world and Spain is not an exception. Differences are almost everywhere: food, dances, music, hospitality etc.

But I prefer to let you know about my best experience yet: meeting people. They are warm and friendly, communicative and helpful. I am volunteering in the organization called Arrabal-Aid and in that peaceful kingdom (it is really like a big family) I could never imagine that I will have so much kindness and support. As soon as I arrived my mentor Julio, as a professional guitar player sacrificed pretty much of his time to help me with choosing a guitar and we end up with a decision to buy it from Amazon and another amazing college whose name is Ali ordered it for me. Before that I never even new how to hold one so thanks to them I am also developing some extra skills besides my obligations. I already got lucky enough to have a trusty friend who is not from the organization but still is always kind to me with any support or help.

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Thanks to Javier I can feel myself as a local inhabitant even if still I don’t have a resident-cart. Punctuality of Spain reminds me my country so I will not talk about experiencing anything new but just will add that it is the reason why me and some of my other new friend from abroad don’t have a resident cart yet or they just got it (There is a hope that at the beginning of this month all of the volunteers will finally have it). Spanish people are very communicative even if they are not shining with English language skills but don’t run with conclusions because I feel my fault here as well as my Spanish language skills are even worse. So yes, I am also trying to improve one more skill which definitely will be beneficial and for me and for people around me. Spanish people have really big patience and Juan from my organization is a great example for that. During first days I bothered him so much about issues which are not anyhow connected with work in Arrabal-Aid and although he is always busy he always helped me as well, I even think sometimes he even regretted for the waste of his time on my concerns but still, he supported for which I can not be not thankful.

Here are around twenty people like me who decided to do EVS in Spain who are from Armenia, Ukraine, Portugal, Hungary, Belgium, Poland, France, Germany etc. Besides the program we have pretty much in common as well: kindness, educated, tolerance, goal oriented skills, motivated about Spanish culture and my favorite one — all of them also understand fluent English. Logically they were the first people with whom I was trying to explore the new city of my life and time made us really good pals and now we are living like a huge family with too many sisters and brother

But in this case some people may wonder “Does it true that you can learn also about other cultures besides Spanish” and I would say “That is definitely more than true” because now we even cook together.


dsc_0363Arrabal-Aid
is the organization which invited me to do my EVS in Malaga. The Organization is bigger than the average imagination about Non Governmental Organization. The main goal of organization Is to help and develop their community with suggesting different possibilities.

With diverse ways they are fighting against discrimination, unemployment, luck of education and/or information etc. Staff members all are unique and experienced in different fields. In our office building Arrabal-Aid invites volunteers to participate in classes of economics, computer science, management, English learning etc. outside of the building they are organizing events, workshops, training-courses, conferences and more just to rise awareness of people who want to know, learn and improve themselves. I am usually trying to think about new projects and events to implement for community and also I am always ready to help them with anything that they may need.

According to working agreement we are supported with several good comforts. We have a good health insurance conditions, nice big flat with everything necessary to live in, organization takes care of covering the main utilities costs, we are provided with free bus-using possibility. The only complain is that why the time is going so fast.

20161016_190935Describing our free time, I will try to be very short. It is usually full of adventures. Visiting nearby cities and beaches, exploring ancient places, museums (on Sunday the entrance is for free), and of course night life is Malaga is worth to try.

To be hones before applying I was full of doubts. Well doubts are always following us when we have luck of information about something.  I created so much expectations before coming, some of them happened to be true, the rest, well, almost true, or nothing like true.  I still have doubts about so much things, even about tomorrow. Will it be like I want or something strangely unexpected will happen (I am also experiencing this, not the worst feeling I might mention, but not the best as well) . Bust still, let’s be positive about upcoming opportunities and run to catch them. Of course we can’t know for sure where exactly we might end up. But maybe it is better than being stuck in one place. And maybe we should try because time is always limited? Maybe that’s why we always run to not lose a time or an opportunity. Maybe that’s why we want so much to experience our dreams, to be more in our present, better than in any past for even better in our future. Maybe that’s why we are called human “race”. Who knows? Maybe Mr. Jagger?
Anyways, let’s keep trying…

 

French Volunteer’s EVS Experience in Armenia

Marilou Albero came to Armenian Progressive Youth in Armenia from France to do a 6 months long European Voluntary Service (EVS). We have asked her about her experience with Armenia and her EVS life. Marilou says that she decided to participate in an EVS because she thinks it is a good way to be involved in a project and to discover a new country. “Concerning Armenia though”, she says, “I didn’t really choose to go to specifically Armenia, it was more the opportunity. But I guess I was really curious about this region of the world”.

Marilou’s role in the Armenian Progressive Youth organisation was focused on communication work. She was, among others, updating the website. During the training courses she was responsible for visibility at social medias, for an example to post information about the activities on Facebook. “I learnt many professional skills related to communication skills during my time with Armenian Progressive Youth, for an example how to take good pictures and how to write an article.” When coming to Armenia, she recalls, a big obstacle was the language, but the cultural shock was probably bigger than the language problems. “For me the main difficulties were some of the traditional values of this country. As a «french feminist girl» it was difficult to learn about the differences of rights for girls and LGBT people in Armenia, compared to what I was used to. I never realized that before. Maybe, I was a bit naive.”

Marilou explains that she did not know much about European programs before she came to Armenian Progressive Youth. Because of this, she says, it took her almost three months to understand that the organisation was doing and how it was working. “I think, if I could do one thing differently, I would have studies the organisation before arriving. In this way I maybe could have understood my role better, and have taken more initiatives”. Concerning support, she says that she had everything she needed. “Armenian Progressive Youth and Armenia was very welcoming; I am very thankful for that”. Marilou received language courses like all volunteers enrolled in the EVS programs do. She says though, that learning Armenian in 6 months is not very realistic.

As for coming back to visit Armenia, Marilou already did. “I came back to Armenia 6 months after my volunteering as a participant in one of the trainings organized by Armenian Progressive Youth.” If Marilou could advise a future volunteer coming to Armenia, she says it would be to bring books. “It is almost impossible to find books in foreign languages in Yerevan.”

Interviewed and written by Edith and Tamara, 2 APY volunteers

«Stone Age in Us» Youth Exchange Project in Lithuania

The youth exchange «Stone Age in Us» took place in wonderful Lithuania in mid-July, with 31 amazing young people form Armenia, Estonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Lithuania and Portugal.

Some of us have been to their first project, some others hopefully not the last one. And this are impressions of some of Armenian participants.

Davit Baghdasaryan

The project “Stone age in us” gave me the opportunity to discover not only the habits and national character of other countries but also their deep routes coming from very ancient times. During the project we felt closer to the nature due to camping and hiking. The life in tents, evenings around the bonfire, preparing food on fire and different relevant workshops made us to feel the spirit of Stone Age. This helped us also to become a strong team by overcoming several challenges and difficulties. With this team we managed to take care of the ecology by organizing the habitat of rare species of butterflies.13939320_938691632944015_9008733182869103635_n

As my first project it exceeded my expectations. Furthermore, I acquired a lot of new friends of different nationalities and I believe that due to our newly formed but enough strong friendship we will meet again and again somewhere in Europe and will ensure the success of other projects as well.

Lilit Baghdasaryan

The idea of the project «Stone age in us» interested me from the beginning. It was informative to know the traditions of other countries and their problems. We understood that we have many things in common. I very much like the atmosphere of participant countries and acquired a lot of new friends, whom I hope I will see again. For me the best part of the project was the time that we spend in the woods. I learn a lot of things about camping. Also we did workshops. At the workshops we show each other what hand skills we know, so at the end of the project we learned a lot of new things. Most of all in this few days I liked participants of the project, and we spend a really good time together.

Vahan Ghazaryan

During the project »Stone age in us» I learned lots of important and necessary thing which I’ll need in future. At first I was a little disappointing/shy, because everything was new for me: new people, unusual and not popular topic we should discuss and the idea that we are spending 2-3 nights in the forest. I always like the things or events which are connected with the nature, the environment.

13957989_938691816277330_2942290366513940318_oThis week was one of the most important and special in my life. I learned how to make a tent, to sleep inside it, to have a amazing expedition while hearing the birds voices, and doing every step with a great pleasure, with singing, dancing, and joking. I aquired lots of new friends from Portugal, Macedonia, Estonia, and Lithunania. Everything was unforgettable and every second I was enjoying my time. Thank you Lithuania.

Mané Matevossian

For now I know one thing for sure. I could never imagine this very first project of mine could replenish my monotone life with so many amazing colors just in two weeks. Each participant from his/her own country added their own sweet taste to this project which I could never ever forget. Thanks to the participants open mindedness and passion concerning the theme, we created the best of the ancient human’s world with its culture and appropriate way of living. We created various handmade jewelries, wood cups. And the hiking we had and the festival we organized are the real proofs that we succeed in creating a brave “stone age” person in ourselves. Particularly, the camping spent in the village Mozuriškes gave us the chance to act and think differently. As it was in the ancient times, also in the camp too we did everything as a group and nothing prevented us from our resistant attitude. I really hope that it was the first, but not the last project with these kinds of lovely and bright people are.

The exchange project was developed and implemented in cooperation with the following partners: Armenian Progressive Youth, Volunteer’s Center Skopje, Continuous Action, AEVA, and the hosting organization: LOBIU DIRBTUVES.

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Halloween Party with APY, AIESEC in Armenia and AEGEE-Yerevan

On the 31st of October together with AIESEC in Armenia and AEGEE-Yerevan we hosted a joint Halloween party for all our members. The Beatles pub opened its doors at 7 pm, and soon after guests arrived decorated to celebrate #Halloween. During the night the members and leaders of the organisations were mingling and dancing. The idea of the event was to create an opportunity for the members from each organisation to get to know each other and exchange ideas and projects for the future. Further more, it was a way for the members to get to know the other organisations operating in the field of Youth in Armenia.” The stronger connections we have between the organisations- the better projects we can develop in the future” Says Adrine Aghabekyan, one of the project managers for the event. “These three organisations are very similar and the best in their field. There has been a lot of competition between the youth organisations, and now it is about time we start to cooperate!”

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«SKYE» Club’s Future Trainers’ Meeting

World Vision Armenia in partnership with Armenian Progressive Youth NGO and several Yerevan-based organizations is going to launch a SKYE Club in Yerevan.

The SKYE Club (Skills and Knowledge for Youth Economic-empowerment) model is a holistic and integrated approach to helping disadvantaged youth develop the skills, behaviors and attitudes necessary to obtain sustainable livelihoods and participate constructively in their communities. This is achieved through group based training and support services.

The club is going to operate in Yerevan and will bring together 25 Syrian-Armenian and local young people based in Yerevan for weekly meetings and training focus on soft skills development, personal growth, employability and IT skills.

Armenian Progressive Youth is going to select several outstanding volunteers who will take part in Training of Trainers as well as a coaching and mentoring process conducted by the professionals at World Vision Armenia. They will be leading the SKYE Club and facilitation the learning process of the participants.

On the 2nd of November 4 of the candidates had their first meeting to deliver presentations and workshops to demonstrate their trainers’ skills and participate in the selection process. All of them will undergo a final selection and will join the trainer’s team.

Many thanks to #Article3 Club for hosting us in their warm and friendly environment.

 

 

 

Challenge to Change: Gender Perspectives in Europe

The concept of gender equality is highly affected by the culture and the politics of the country where it is discussed. Consequently, the work on policies, norms and juridical systems in favor of gender equality differ greatly around the world. Thus, what do not differ around the world is the structural violence against women. This is a problem present in all societies regardless of development, culture, religion, policies and history. To gather different youth workers and leaders from all over the world to discuss these issues are therefore of highest importance, not only because the youth can bring a change, but because it is an international problem and should therefore be understood internationally.

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From June 27 to 5th of July together with JUB International from Netherlands we hosted the international training ”Gender Perspectives in Europe:13517493_1213558571996820_2261714809289119394_o Challenge to Change” bringing together youth workers, youth leaders, experts, NGO workers, Civil Society Organization representatives working for the promotion of Gender Equality and women’s empowerment in the Eastern Partnership Countries and the European Union.
The project has involved 36 participants coming from such countries as the United Kingdom, Croatia, Ukraine, Belarus, Czech Republic, Georgia, Italy, Latvia, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Russian Federation, Spain and Armenia.
Since all participants came from different countries, backgrounds and gender experiences the discussions and exchanges were rich.

Nuard Minasian (Armenia)

I was actively involved in gender related issues before and after the training, but I should confess that the format of the training enriched my skills on how the gender topics should be represented for a mixed audience. The stimulation games and exercises were very useful for me and I’m going to practice it in my work as a trainer.
The main issue is the gender stereotypes which causes gender inequality in our society. Another big issue is the gender based violence which is common for developing countries not having legislative mechanisms to prevent the cases.
There were represented some mechanisms on how to combat against these stereotypes which can differ from country to country, but which still characteristic for every society in a specific way. The stronger the society is the higher will be its level of gender equality. That’s why we drafted some joint projects during the training aiming to engage more people in awareness rising process on gender equality and non-violence.13603353_1216795288339815_1050718266209977591_o
I will address the teenage pupils who are the most target group for being educated on gender issues. This will give the opportunity to prevent gender inequality and domestic violence by educating the generation rather than working on the sad consequences of the absence of gender education.
The training was held in a very friendly atmosphere keeping everyone energized and motivated to take part in each activity. We really enjoyed the training, made useful networks for the further cooperation and went back home with positive and unforgettable memories.

Alexei Croitor (Moldova)

The project has been focused on gender issues, mostly challenges and causes which lead to inequality between men and women. For me this training wasn’t the 1 st course in gender equality issues, as a lawyer I’ve participated in a lot of educational programs which has been based on equality and non-discrimination issues from the legal point of view. This course has specific that approach this theme not from legal but social and cultural aspect regarding countries involved in project. It shows how young people understand this issue and their individual or group attitude to this, the importance of topic in social life, how it can influence society. Due to the Course I much more understand how stereotypes are influence our life and can be powerful instruments which stop development and progress. Only by like these educational program especially for young generation we can eliminate stereotypes from society and clean it up.

13517587_1214565185229492_3695389827692976380_oRepublic of Moldova has problems to solve with intolerance in society, inequality of women in all fields staring of decision making to enterprising. More problematical is non-realizing by the society of that problem which leads to discrimination, domestic violence. Despite of strong legal framework, in practical application of this Moldova is still fail. The situation with non-implementation of existing laws like in Moldova, or improvement of legislation with necessary framework, for states which aspiring for it must take in consideration that it needs not only legal and political approach. It necessary change and open minds of society especially with young generation. That is why the same Projects are strictly necessary, for showing positive examples, giving possibility to participants to come to the idea of equality by themselves, working together on the problem, generating new ideas.

 

Boba Markovich Baluchova (Czech Republic)

Very heterogeneous, but open-minded group of the participants (of different age, from different countries and with different educational background) learnt and talked about gender related topics and the need for gender equality in all areas of our lives. It was not only about equal job opportunities and equally paid salaries for women and men; this training was also about the understanding of the concepts of women’s rights protection, e.g. reproductive rights (which is very sensitive topic in Armenia – what we found out during the training). We also asked ourselves whether do we have an equivalent for “gender mainstreaming” term in our own languages.

I’ve been working as youth worker, journalist and lecturer at Palacky university, so gender related topics are not new to me. In past I conducted the research about the media (re)presentation of vulnerable groups (including women) from developed, as well as developing countries. During the training I was interested in the advocacy campaigns and gender related issues in countries from Eastern Partnership and Caucasus region. Therefore I appreciated the Study tours to local Armenian NGOs: Women’s Resource Center of Armenia, Public Information and Need of Knowledge (PINK). For example I learnt that ‪Diana Abkar (an Armenian writer and diplomat) was the 1st female ambassador in the World (in 1920!).

13580397_1215348718484472_88981260433290312_oI come from Slovakia, but I work in Czechia (these two countries used to be one big country: Czechoslovakia in past). I contributed to the international conference (as a part of this TC) with the presentation: “Portrayal of women in Czech and Slovak media (journalism and marketing products)”. I talked about a significant difference in portrayal of women and men. Sexual harassment and sexism are big issues in my region. I showed the examples of annual competition “Sexist pig” focused on the most sexist adverts in Czechia. As I understood (based on the discussion after the conference) there are very similar experiences and examples of gender insensitive language’s usage from other European countries.

I think the training courses and youth exchanges (using non-formal learning methods) can be always an opportunity to face our own stereotypes and work on their reduction. In my case study/research of portrayal of women in media: educational seminars for journalism students about gender related issues and topics would be helpful.

Even though the group participants had different age, educational background, cultural and religious values, together we created very safe space for the opinions sharing and open discussions about feminism, women’s reproductive rights or LGBTQI+ topic. I believe that was the most important outcome of the TC.

Florian Kleinhoven (The Netherlands)

I think what mostly changed for me is my view on different cultures. Not only was travelling to Armenia a great experience, such a project with so

many members partaking from numerous cultural backgrounds was also helpful. I learned to see how many European cultures regard the problem of gender inequality and anything related to it from a similar perspective, whereas Georgians or Armenians consider the situation radically different. I think the project mainly taught me to mitigate my opinions as to gender discrimination. As Freud indicated: human behaviors always have a source in society — I consider this very much to be the truth.  I think in Western Europe, the problem of gender inequality is less tangible than anywhere else in the world. In a practical sense, there are the same opportunities for both counterparts. However, on a more microscopical scale, the differences are evident. Many people here are obsessed with equating statistical values: women have to make up 50% of all Physics students, and so forth. The course in Yerevan taught me that these goals are surreal and surpass the goal: the goal is to alter the public mentality, not statistics. Logically, the issue also consists of verbal discrimination, but to be honest, that falls into an entirely different category than ‘gender issues’ itself. The role of discrimination based on differences is a lot greater!13533126_1215305758488768_1580205598643307528_n

A resolution should be a legislative element implemented in society to meliorate a problematic situation. I think the solution many companies have adopted is the best, survey both what men and women want, and tailor your regulations to that — it’s all about democracy after all. I think an understanding of how to appease two or more parties in negotiations would be one of the most useful skills, as this also helps to rule out the problem of discrimination itself (on a small scale).  I think the problem with public education in the field of gender issues in Western Europe is that it is focused mostly on the consequences for women. I, and many others, think the problem persists for both genders. Men can feel discriminated on the basis of their gender as well. The issue should be approached as something mutual/communal; not something merely problematic for women.

Gita Getaute Sveicare (Latvia)

For me the project was about kindness, tolerance, inner values and emotions. Before training I was confident about this topic. I was sure that I know all the indicators and signs that indicates belonging to specific groups or orientation (sexual or gender). In my region are a lot of situations about aggression and misunderstandings in case of difference (either way of thinking or sexual orientation and non-tolerant attitude). It was wonderful experience and opportunity to meet colleagues from different countries and sharing so big working range and categories. Thank you. Hope to have similar opportunity in future.

Roman Hajduk (United Kingdom)

A few months before I was attending another training course, where I needed to find and understand myself and that one became a good foundation for the training in Armenia. In Armenia  I received more experience, created new contacts and my network is bigger now.  I will be also back soon with my photography project.

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Need Education to Work – NetWORK

From 2-nd to 10-th of October Armenian Progressive Youth NGO together in cooperation with MOJU — Associação Movimento Juvenil em Olhão from Portugal will be co-hosting the international Partnership Building Activity bringing together 30 youth workers in Yerevan to discuss the challenges young people face in the job market and the methods they can use to become a competitive job seeker and an employee.

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At the same time the project is focused on supporting, inspiring and engaging young people from Europe to develop their social leadership skills, take up a civic responsibility  and act as a change-maker in their own communities. During the project participants will share the best practices and success stories on combating youth unemployment in their own countries and communities as well as research and discover job opportunities accessible for all participant countries, receive the respective input from trainers and experts, make field visits and group discussions. In the end of the training course participants will create a contemporary method that will be used to empower young job seekers to find jobs in their own local communities.

The 7-day activity aims at supporting young people in Europe who face unprecedented difficulties in finding a job.

Among the participating countries are Portugal, Armenia, Belarus, Croatia, Greece, Ukraine, Spain, Austria, Georgia, Turkey, Netherlands, Moldova, Italy and  Cyprus.It is our belief that youth workers from different EU and neighboring countries can change the situation locally and internationally. Thanks to mobility projects, youngsters can meet, discuss the problems of youth unemployment, share the best practices, raise the issues of unemployment, create networks and implement projects tackling the issue in their local communities and on an international level.

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Santa Barbara — The Last Episode of the Famous TV Series in Yerevan

After several years of project experience and work with so-called difficult youngsters, adolescents with challenging behavior Armenian Progressive Youth NGO (Armenia) and Föreningen Framtidståget(Sweden) have recognized that often we speak about important world issues and try to influence global problems, but do not notice, that our relationship with the world very much depends on the relationship with our nearest people.
Santa Barbara is a Training Course aiming to show the importance of personal and family relationship in young people’s future by self-reflection
and making correlations between personal life and social and political engagement.

14409441_1277537758932234_4769751434154556979_oAmong others, the training contained study visits to NGOs in Armenia working on women’s rights. The visits made a great opportunity for the international participants to learn more about gender based violence in Armenia, and to share the situations in their countries with the group. Another session was focused on non-violence communication, which were both practical and theoretical exercises. Naturally, the schedule also allowed to dive into Armenian culture such as visiting the Pagan temple in Garni, which was followed with a traditional dinner in an Armenian family.

One of the participants, Laura Reisele from Latvia, said that for her the training course was about self-development and self-awareness, getting deeper into one’s personal issues, unsolved problems and conflicts which we can see and observe mostly in the family. During this week in Armenia we tried not just to explore others, their cultures, but also ourselves. ”I enjoyed our gender related discussions in order to tackle the topic,  life stories and the friendly atmosphere all around. It was a sincere place — cocoon — where from tears and happiness new butterflies learned to fly.”

Another participant, Iryna Azaranka from Sweden, said that  her main impression was that the course was very good balanced from the beginning to the end. It was just right amount of knowledge and sightseeing. «Also», she continues, «I liked the involvement with the locals, img_6471when we had to really start discussions to answer the city game questions. Some of the methods used were very interesting. For an example on patterns of communications, it has already been useful in my personal life»!
She described that the group contained different levels of gender awareness, which from time to time was difficult to relate to. Furthermore, she highlighted that the sightseeing to the Armenian countryside and mountains were a magnificent experience. «For me it was a calming time and also time of insights”, she adds.

Mihai Lovu from Moldova says that the training course tought him about the differences between Moldova and Armenia in stereotypes and gender issues. He also adds that he will definitely remember the people from the training. Pedro Soares from Portugal also emphasizes that he will remember the participants and that the group was a very good experience.

 

 

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