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: .

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Transparency Armen

Earlier this year, I decided that I have about two and a half months to spare and travel to Armenia for the first time since my family and I emigrated 20 years ago. To my luck, I found AVC which enthusiastically invited me to Armenia in the spring, just in time for the 2007 Parliamentary Elections. Thanks to the professional, charismatic, and wildly entertaining AVC staff, who went well out of their way to find me a position in accordance with my professional interests, I am currently in sunny Yerevan, Armenia conducting very meaningful volunteer work with Center For Regional Development / Transparency International.

Since early April, I have delved head-on into the labyrinth of Armenian politics, helping to collect data on party finance, administrative resources, and media coverage to record instances of electoral fraud. I have collaborated with several NGOs, foreign diplomats, and international delegations from the OSCE, Council of Europe, and European Parliament in assessing campaigning tactics and voting environments as well as election results. In the past month, I have attended constitutional court hearings, oppositional protests, press conferences, and television debates relating to the elections and corruption. Translating technical Armenian language has exposed me to a deeper understanding of both the Armenian and English language and their different nuances.

If you are at all interested in the findings of our organization, please have a look at the web page I have created for Transparency International to display and analyze the final results of the May 12th parliamentary elections in the Republic of Armenia:

Most importantly, I find myself among an energetic group of accomplished, fun-loving and internationally-minded Armenian volunteers from all around the world. Their optimism and unselfish charity of their time to the Armenian people is inspiring. When all is said and done here... as I pack up to leave back for the States next month to begin law school, I can say that I came away with not only first hand knowledge of the current state of Armenia, new business ideas, and a sense of significant accomplishment as a volunteer, but also new friendships with kindred spirits that i hope will last beyond national borders.

- Armen Boyajian, La Crescenta CA, Spring Volunteer 2007


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