On December 5th, 2014 YMCA Armenia was invited to participate in the International Volunteer Day (IVD, proclaimed as such since 1985) in UN House, Yerevan. IVD 2014 highlights the contribution of volunteers in engaging people from the grass-roots in decision-making processes, ultimately creating space for participation that leads to stronger governance, social cohesion, peace and sustainable development. As part of the global movement, UN volunteers and interns in Armenia organized an awareness raising fair on volunteerism at UN house in Armenia and thus join in recognizing volunteer’s commitment in Armenia. The fair aimed at promoting volunteerism and introducing organizations that provide volunteer work and opportunities in Armenia. In order to show the wide range of volunteering opportunities and the variety of organizations they had a space for 15 organizations’ booths among which YMCA Armenia had its one. The fair was open for everyone and it was promoted especially among students and youth.
YMCA Armenia presented its work related to volunteer activities. YMCA Armenia with Syrian Armenian Youth YMCA Initiative Group members made visibility items (booklets, videos, slide show) for the fair and shared an introduction video telling about the organization, focused on volunteer work and opportunities. By participating in this fair we got to know about organization we never heard about and we had the opportunity to communicate with other organizations that shared similar values and perspectives.
On the same day World Vision Armenia and Yerevan Productions gathered numerous volunteers and volunteer organizations throughout Armenia and brought them together to celebrate their wonderful work. There we had a 5- minutes slide show presentation, where we could briefly present the YMCA and its work.
The most active volunteers in the country are aged between 18 and 20; these young people find value and pleasure in helping those in need. ImYerevan.com took a few minutes to sit down and talk with these volunteers and ask them about their volunteer experiences among which was one of the Spitak YMCA active volunteer Rima Kharatyan who shared her own volunteer experience.
“I began volunteering during my grade school years. Every time I’ve volunteered I have completed my work consciously and with a genuine wish to help people. I especially enjoy working with children because they are so vulnerable and unprotected. Volunteering makes young people aware. From several years of volunteering I have gained skills that will surely help me throughout the rest of my life.’’ said Rima Kharatyan.