In an effort to maintain continuity in our alumni's engagement with Armenia, Birthright Armenia and Armenian Volunteer Corps (AVC) offer the opportunity for alumni to apply and receive grants that facilitate meaningful projects they want to pursue. We would like to announce the names of the four winners of 2022, who will be partnering up with local NGOs to implement projects for Armenia's advancement.
Karina Rakhmatulina, a 28-year-old architect from China, has volunteered for about a year spending most of her time in Gyumri. Now, in collaboration with Für Armenien NGO, she plans to renovate the village school of Krashen, Shirak region. Karina volunteered in Krashen and helped install solar panels on the streets of the village, maintain a new hiking trail, and develop the production of local organic food. She will continue these efforts thanks to the Alumni Micro Grants focusing on the school, which is currently the only building for all gatherings and events in the whole village.
Two other alumni, Irina Arutyunyan (21, Russia) and Aram Kosyan (22, Russia) are also working to better the conditions for children in rural areas. The beneficiaries of their project are the children of Tsovinar village, where they will create public playgrounds. As of today, the village has none. With the help of “ART” Youth NGO, Irina and Aram believe that "many families leave Armenia because there are no jobs and no facilities. Starting with children's playgrounds we will gradually develop the educational aspect."
And what about arts and culture? Two of our grant winners will focus on preserving and promoting Armenian culture and traditions. Evgeniya Melkonyan (31, Ukraine) plans to create a series of mini-documentaries featuring grandmothers from the Lori region of Armenia as preservers of Armenian folklore. This campaign will be accompanied by different events all over Armenia and digital coverage supported by Revival of Traditional Festivals cultural educational NGO. The second project is Galina Shcherbakova's (28, Russia) idea. Specializing in performing arts and culture, Galina decided to recreate Armenian folk songs in the style of modern jazz. She will begin her project together with Mikayel Voskanyan, a well-known producer based in Armenia working toward a full-fledged worldwide program. The project will be carried out in partnership with the Muzanav Cultural NGO.
This is just the beginning. We will follow the development of these projects and continue to share with you our alumni success stories. In the meantime, you can explore more of what they are doing in Armenia, and get in touch with our Next Step alumni team whenever you'd like to learn more: [email protected].