Armenian Volunteer Corps

Welcome to the Armenian Volunteer Corps (AVC) blog. Here our volunteers and alumni reflect on their experiences living and volunteering in Armenia. For more information about our programs, visit our website, follow us on Facebook or drop us an email: .

Monday, January 25, 2010

Meet Edwin from Maryland

Edwin Akopyan
Maryland, USA

Edwin (pictured here with Pyunic Association for the Disabled volunteer Ani Demirdjian of Uruguay) arrived in Armenia in late September 2009 and he plans to be in Armenia for a total of 10 months.

He was born in the heartland of the United States (Oklahoma to be exact) and lived in lot of different places in the United States before settling in Maryland.

Edwin attended the University of Maryland in Baltimore County graduating in December 2008 with a degree in Mechanic Engineering. In college Edwin liked to play and watch (American) football and work on cars. He is a big fan of watching drag car racing. He worked during the summers in college doing all sort of things including construction and even worked as a ramp agent for an airline. After he graduated, Edwin searched around a bit for the right job.

Below is a brief interview with Edwin about his volunteer experience.

Have you ever been to Armenia before: Yes. I spent two months in Armenia with the Land and Culture Organization in 2003, most of the time in Shushi working to renovate the Shushi hospital.

Why did you want to volunteer in Armenia: I have always had a perception that Armenia could utilize help from our large Diaspora. And, I always had big ideas about what could be done if the Diaspora and Armenia worked together. The only thing you can do is try to impact people’s lives in whatever way you can. I want to have an impact.

Where are you volunteering:
I am volunteering at Industrial Technologies Co (ITC).

What is ITC: It is a design engineering firm. People from outside of Armenia ask ITC to design a product and ITC does that. ITC mainly designs tools for clients who don’t have the capacity to design them in house.

What do you do at ITC: Small tasks, general research mostly about manufacturing techniques and materials. I even modeled some parts for an exciting project I am working on.

How do you feel about being a volunteer: I guess I am a bit of a role player. I don’t have a major role at ITC but I am there to help out in any way I can.

Did anything surprise you about your volunteer placement: Yes. There is no running water half the time I am there. And, the vast majority of the people that I work with know English and they know a lot about Western culture, like George Carlin. And, a lot of the engineers I work with are not local, they are from Iran and I am also Barskahay.

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  • At 4:28 AM, January 26, 2010, Blogger Leo said…

    I'll be arriving on July 15th with a volunteer team from the States on a home building mission. Maybe you'd like to join us for a day. Lunch is on me. I'd love to hear about your experiences and volunteer work. Check us out


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