David Shakhbandaryan was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. He lived there until 23, and half a year ago he moved to Armenia to start a new journey with the Birthright Armenia program. He lives in Charentsavan and volunteers in IT, helping Repat Armenia improve their website content. The Repat Armenia Foundation, a non-governmental, non-profit organization, was established in August 2012 to take the concept of active repatriation promotion to the next level, with a full-time, dedicated staff based in Yerevan and a network of supporters worldwide.
“I always planned to move to Armenia but I thought it would happen at the age of 27-28. Over the latest developments in Russia, I wasn’t able to continue my work in Moscow, so I moved to Armenia earlier.”
After moving to Armenia, David’s first step was to find a decent job. He was totally immersed in Armenian culture from childhood as his family was serious about keeping the Armenian identity alive. He started visiting Armenian Sunday School when he was 14, he learned the Armenian language, history, and has Christianity lessons. As a student, he was an active member of an Armenian club for a year.
David got to know about the Birthright Armenia program from his friends who took part in 2019. David's goals and Birthright Armenia's mission have coincided. Repatriation. David sees his future in Armenia, that’s why he is looking for an appropriate job to settle down here. Birthright Armenia finds solutions for newcomers like David, as it has a list of long-standing partners in all fields that offer volunteering opportunities with the perspective of becoming job offers.
“I am an IT specialist but I'm also interested in politics. I see a great potential in Armenia but I also see that this potential is not used to its maximum. I always kept my Armenian identity alive back then when I used to live in Moscow. Being here I understand there is no chance to be assimilated.”
David always knew that one day he would return to his motherland to make his patriotic ideas come true. Love for his country was always alive whether during his childhood, teenage time, or when he grew up, it is there and will never go anywhere.
Article prepared by Iona Aroyan