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Lou Terzian
France 2023 participant
15 Feb, 2024

My quest for connection with Birthright Armenia

2 min read

As a French-Armenian, my journey back to the homeland wasn’t merely a return, it was a profound exploration of my roots, and I couldn’t have dreamt of better partners than the Birthright Armenia team to accomplish it.

Little did I anticipate that this adventure would extend beyond language learning and cultural immersion, and that I would embark on a transformative journey through Armenia’s landscapes.

Volunteering wasn’t just about giving back, it was about strengthening the thread connecting me to my roots, transforming it into experiences that already hold some of my life’s richest memories.

The Birthright Armenia team’s support is unparalleled - from carefully thought-out processes during application to flexible arrangements ensuring the most comfortable experience. After arriving, the advice is simple: embrace it and go with the flow.

Uncovering the true essence of resilience

I started my volunteering by joining the team of the NGO Hub Artsakh, by supporting their communications. Originally established in Stepanakert, this grassroots organization has since relocated to Yerevan, where it now supports the Artsakhtsi community navigating their new and challenging circumstances in Armenia.

My arrival coincided with a particularly dramatic period, marked by the forced displacement of my young colleagues from their homeland, after resisting a year-long blockade. As they left behind a lifetime of memories, belongings, and ambitions, their amazing resilience isn’t just an euphemism. I am profoundly admirative of the joy, selflessness, kindness and ambition they display every day amidst their sorrows. Their warm welcome makes me feel fortunate to be included in their community and to count them as my friends.

My secondary placement, at the think-tank Regional Center for Democracy and Security, complements my experience, where I also support their communications. Integrating this team not only reaffirmed the welcoming nature of my Armenian colleagues but also allowed me to access insights into Armenia’s intricate geopolitical and social realities. Immersing myself in their research and public policy work offers a valuable understanding of the complex dynamics at play.

I am profoundly thankful for the opportunity to contribute to these two organizations Birthright introduced me to, amplifying the narratives of the Artsakhtsi society and shedding light on the tragedies that have unfolded.

Fostering lasting bonds

Your volunteer experience will not be just about the tasks you will accomplish, it is about the people you will meet. The bonds forged with fellow volunteers and the warm welcome of your future colleagues add another dimension of belonging to this journey.

Joining the Birthright program is experiencing a dynamism like no other, keeping your schedule rich of explorations, cultural discoveries, insightful testimonials, and community nurturing. In the short span of two months, we explored several corners of the country, visited monasteries hidden among mountains, listened to the emotional stories of veterans, learned traditional dances, stargazed from the national observatory, and enjoyed the lively Erevan nightlife.

Coming to Armenia during winter also offers the chance to experience the end-of-year holidays, a wonderful opportunity of collective communion and celebration. And if the thought of spending the holidays away from family and friends worries you, keep in mind there’s a high probability of receiving warm invitations with your newfound family.

There is an invaluable amount of kindness, empathy and joy to share with the volunteers coming from all over the globe. Should you embark on this journey, you will undoubtedly build precious connections far beyond the borders of the country.


As I write this post, I am not merely recounting my experience so far, which I am sure will be rich in much more than I can imagine. I want to say to those who yearn to explore their roots: come. Birthright Armenia is the catalyst you are looking for personal growth, discovery, and precious ties to your community.



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