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27 Apr, 2021

Grants Program for Alumni: What Did They Do?

Micro-Grants: An Opportunity for Alumni

This year, we have launched a new micro-grant program that allows the provision of small $1000 grants for immediate use by in-country alumni involved in projects aimed at making Armenia stronger.

Be it for a project that alumni themselves are running, an NGO they have founded, or in which they play a crucial leadership role, and these micro-grants could help those most vulnerable right now in our joint post-war support to Armenia, be they soldiers, veterans or displaced children in-need of a helping hand.


An Initiative for Women in Gyumri

Sarah Stites (2018, USA) and Zarui Karapetyan (2018, Russia), two of our alumni who currently live and work in Gyumri, will use this micro-grant to create and run a comprehensive culinary, food hygiene, and service training program (with a psychological support component) for women in Gyumri. They have already started working with four beneficiaries, two being displaced women from Artsakh and two being mothers of children with special needs from Emili Aregak.

“Many women in Gyumri have the desire to enter the labor market, but lack skills, education, experience, and confidence to achieve that goal,” commonly state Sarah and Zarui. On top of this, their specific target group of women has faced and continues to face significant challenges and trauma. While the economy is generally not enough developed in Gyumri, there is a need for skilled cooks, managers, and servers. Those who truly excel in the field can usually find work. Through this particular project, our alumni wish to empower women with the skills to find work in the food service field and prepare them psychologically and emotionally to become more motivated and self-aware, manage their grief and trauma, process their pain, and understand holistic wellness. The main driving force of the project is the belief that emotionally strong and healthy women can have a powerful influence in a community and shape the next generation.


“We want to help usher in a Gyumri that welcomes women’s unique skills, bolsters their confidence, and encourages them to work outside the home if they desire it. Ultimately, we want these women to have the skills and confidence to find stable income and the tools to move forward through obstacles to create a better future for themselves and their families.”

Sarah Stites and Zarui Karapetyan


Since day one, Birthright Armenia stays committed to supporting the alumni who aim at further supporting their homeland by initiating projects like this one. Learn more about what other opportunities you will have as Birthright Armenia alumni and hurry to submit your application today.

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