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: .

Thursday, July 27, 2006

AVC Library Project

In Beginning of June, a few Volunteers ,along with myself, pioneered a brand new concept to the children of Yerevan: Integrate the children’s library IN the summer. The concept was two fold: one was to bring the children off of the streets and bring them into the libraries and secondly to strongly integrate the libraries into these children’s lives. With help from the librarians, we began a consistent schedule twice a week for several hours to completely bring the world of libraries, books, imagination, theatre, music, and writing. I’ve found that the children up-held such a strong standard for the volunteers solely because they knew we studied in universities in North America. In exchange, we gave them unconditional friendship and mutual respect for them. It was a two-way road to gain and learn from one another. The studiousness of these children was astonishing to me. We realized quickly how eager they were to learn absolutely anything that we could possibly offer for them.

I began to realize the need to utilize my English writing skills and convey a whole new aspect of writing to these kids but I wanted to bring a motivator for them; creating their very own book. The minute I told the 12-14 year olds the idea of creating their own book, full of their personal English-written essays, was so completely surreal to them. This far-fetched idea of these young Yerevan kids becoming published authors and cumulatively creating their own book by the end of the summer seemed attainable now to them because of the positive guidance I feel the volunteers have brought.

The blend of games bringing in the laughter, the reading which sparks imagination, and the writing which fills the room with thoughts makes the AVC Library Project truly remarkable and one that I am eager to see grow.

By: Maral Melkonian

Friday, July 21, 2006

Habitat for Humanity

On Wednesday July 12th several volunteers from AVC joined a group of 26 youth from Buenos Aires to help out with one of the ongoing projects organized by Habitat for Humanity. The group traveled to Gavar, a city close to Lake Sevan, to help out the staff of Habitat who were working on the construction of an apartment building. The Habitat team equipped the volunteers with shovels and buckets and guided them, as they had to transport sand up and down the floors of the apartment building. The assembly line of workers not only included diasporan volunteers but locals within the town who wanted to join in on the fun!

One by one, everyone played an important part in passing the buckets of sand to each other in order for it to make it up to the top floor, where the sand would later be used to cement and tile the bathrooms in the apartment. It wasn't all work and no play at the work site, as the Argentinean volunteers led the large group to sing and dance while they were working hard transporting the buckets. The day was a success as AVC volunteers traveled out of town and and spent the day mingling with new diasporans and locals, working together to help out Habitat for the day on a task which seemed to be a nice break from everyones daily work assignments in Yerevan. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves, and hopefully AVC will partner up with Habitat again in the near future!