WCC News: Creating a better future for Syrian-Armenian youth
On 20 March the unique program aiming to empower Syrian-Armenian youth who escaped the ongoing conflict in Syria and settled in Armenia was launched in Yerevan. Through training, capacity building and joint activities, the project aims to deepen the relations between Syrian and local Armenian youth.
“Better future for Syrian-Armenian Youth” is new joint project of World Council of Churches Armenian Round Table Foundation (ART) and “Aleppo” Compatriotic Charitable Organization (Aleppo-NGO).
“There have been many Syrian-Armenian youth projects implemented over the years in Armenia”, said Sarkis Balkhian, executive director of Aleppo-NGO, during his opening remarks. “But this one is unique because the youth has an opportunity to choose the specific training programs, seminars, conferences, and activities they are most interested in and have the need for”.
During the opening session of the project more than 60 Syrian-Armenian high school and university students as well as young professionals were able to choose the top five activities and training programs they wish to partake in.
Rubina Devrikyan, a representative of WCC Armenian Round Table Foundation, explains that the project will not only include trainings and seminars but also small scholarships, pilgrimages and camps for Syrian-Armenian students, fellows, and interns in need. Moreover, they will also have an opportunity to have joint activities with local Armenian youth to facilitate integration.
The WCC Armenia Inter-Church Charitable Round Table Foundation (ART) is an ecumenical organization working in close collaboration with churches and non-governmental organizations for the active involvement of the church in social work, including poverty eradication, sustainable community development, and overall development of civil society in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
Founded in 1996, the ART has evolved its activities in diverse areas, including development, capacity building, education, peace and reconciliation, diakonia and humanitarian aid. The ecumenical Armenia Round Table programme was set up on the initiative of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the WCC, with the participation of the Armenian Catholic and Armenian Evangelical churches.