“It’s quite a difficult question, a touching one as well, but the bottom line is it was my heart’s desire, a call to my very soul.” After thinking it through, this is how Inna Badalyan, our 45-year-old volunteer from Russia, explains her decision to come to Armenia and volunteer as a physiotherapist.
Born and raised in Russia, Inna visited Armenia for the first time at the age of 42, and her heart has been restless ever since. Falling in love with the country and realizing how long she had been far from her roots, she felt the yearning desire to somehow fill that gap. “I want to devote myself to my homeland. It’s a sincere desire, coming from the bottom of my heart and soul,” says Inna.
The path Inna chose to reconnect with the homeland was to share her vast knowledge and expertise with her nation. With a years-long experience in physiotherapy, specifically working with children who have physical movement disorders, Inna wanted to contribute to the respective field in Armenia but didn’t know where to start. She was recommended to apply to AVC’s Professional Corps program, which found the best-suited job placement for her — Dream House, a rehabilitation center for children with cerebral palsy (CP).
In April, Inna dedicated herself full-time to therapeutic massage and physical training to support the physical conditioning of those with CP. She notes that she loves working with children but the love toward Armenia doubled her motivation to do her job with even greater inspiration. “By and large, I didn’t discover anything new — I just once again reassured myself how much I love Armenia and the Armenian nation.”
Completing her volunteering experience, Inna encourages her compatriots living abroad to come to Armenia. “I want to say certainly and confidently that your help is needed. People in Armenia are very kind and open-minded. They are happy to see you here, and your help is definitely appreciated.”
If you have a similar story but don’t know where to start, check out our opportunities.
By Lusine Minasyan, Armenian Volunteer Corps