Armavir Development Center Promoting Youth Activism in the Region

Within the “Empowering Youth Voices: Building an Enabling Community for Civic Engagement in Armavir” project, “Armavir Development Center” NGO aims to improve the enabling environment for youth civic engagement in the Armavir region of Armenia by supporting local NGOs to enhance their capacities and adopt “standard operating procedures” (SOPs) on engaging the youth as partners contributing to project cycle management, hence, facilitating their engagement in NGO’s programming and decision-making processes. To achieve this objective, the NGO developed a procedure for “Engaging Youth in Project Cycle Management”, localized within 5 NGOs across the Armavir region through a 3-day workshop and subsequent mentoring support.

Using this procedure, the targeted NGOs developed 4 youth-led projects, which were implemented with financial and mentoring support from the Armavir Development Center, ensuring active participation of young people. These projects covered diverse themes, ranging from promoting inclusive attitudes towards persons with disabilities to establishing a mobile community library and fostering civic participation.

For example, “Huysi Metsamor” NGO implemented the “Attitude Formation towards Persons with Disabilities” project. This initiative included informative sessions with 9th to 12th-grade students at Schools No. 1 and No. 2 in Metsamor, including individuals with disabilities. The sessions focused on promoting inclusive, non-discriminatory attitudes towards persons with disabilities. The project concluded with a competition titled “When My Friend Has a Disability,” encouraging students to create essays and presentations promoting inclusivity.

“Metsamor Youth Parliament” NGO addressed declining youth interest in reading through the “Mobile Books” project. This initiative established a mobile library equipped with 120 books, both artistic and professional, which travels between communities to meet the reading needs of young people. Additionally, the project organized three events across Mrgashat, Aknalich, and Zartonk settlements to promote literature, featuring meetings with contemporary novelists, business-writers, and editor-publishers.

Projects aimed at enhancing youth civic engagement were carried out by “Empowerment of Women, Youth and Education” NGO and “Youth Vanguard” NGO. The former organized awareness and capacity-building sessions for approximately 200 youths in the Khoi community, aiming to create a network of informed and active youth participants in community affairs. Meanwhile, the latter engaged 22 youths from 11 settlements in the extended Armavir community to address reasons for and barriers to their participation in local governance, providing education on local governance processes and their roles in those processes. A culmination of the project was the “My Community” exhibition, where youth presented community issues to local government representatives and discussed potential solutions.

Despite their thematic diversity, all these projects shared a common element: they were developed with active involvement from local youth, implemented by them, and ensured meaningful participation in project decision-making processes, contributing to the improvement of the environment for youth civic engagement in Armavir region.

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