Embarking on the second phase of my volunteer journey with the Armenian Volunteer Corps (AVC), I’ve found that my passion for Armenia and my desire to make a meaningful impact remain as strong as ever. In my previous article, I shared my initial experiences as an AVC volunteer, emphasizing the transformative power of volunteering and the deep connection I developed with Armenia. This time, I will focus on my recent activities and how they have enriched my connection with this extraordinary country.
Once again, I chose to step outside my comfort zone and contribute to organizations that align with my values and passion for Armenia. While my background lies in sales and marketing, I sought opportunities that allowed me to immerse myself in Armenia’s rich cultural heritage and actively participate in projects that bring about positive change.
Expanding My Horizons in Armenia
My first destination in this second chapter of my AVC journey was the History Museum of Armenia. Here, I had the unique opportunity to lead tours for Russian-speaking visitors, delving into the country’s history, starting from the Stone Age. It’s remarkable how I, someone who was once a passive listener during history tours, have now become an enthusiastic storyteller. My own knowledge of Armenia, accumulated over the years, proved to be an asset as I shared the captivating history of this ancient land.
Of course, my journey didn’t stop at leading tours. To provide an enriching experience for visitors, I delved into the exhibits and continued my ongoing quest to learn more about Armenia’s history and culture. The support and knowledge-sharing among my colleagues at the museum have been invaluable, enhancing my understanding of Armenia’s multifaceted history. Like Armenia itself, the learning process is an ongoing journey, one that I eagerly embrace.
What inspires me most about my work at the History Museum of Armenia is the opportunity to share Armenia’s rich history and culture with people from all walks of life. Many visitors have limited knowledge of the depth of Armenian history and its cultural significance, and I take great joy in expanding their horizons. Exploring each exhibit in-depth, I gained a deeper understanding of the country’s history and culture that goes far beyond what can be found through internet research.
The essence of volunteering is about selflessly giving your time and skills to make a positive impact, and my second volunteer program with AVC reaffirms this belief. My experiences as a volunteer continue to be fulfilling and enriching, underscoring the idea that age, specialization, or experience level should never be barriers to giving back.
A Remarkable Adventure of Connection and Transformation
AVC’s commitment to ensuring a meaningful volunteer experience for both volunteers and partner organizations is evident. The selection process for participants in the volunteer program is thorough, and all conditions are clearly outlined in the “How to Apply” section. This meticulous approach ensures that the collaboration between volunteers and organizations is mutually beneficial, fostering a productive and harmonious environment.
Armenia’s hospitality is a defining characteristic, and AVC embodies this spirit perfectly. Their support services offer invaluable resources and assistance, from answering questions to providing advice and organizing weekly meetings on a wide range of topics. These meetings cover everything from current social issues in Armenia to cultural, historical, and language classes, all offered free of charge. Additionally, volunteers can join well-organized excursions throughout Armenia every weekend, providing opportunities to explore the country and its culture in-depth.
In conclusion, my journey as an AVC volunteer continues to be a remarkable adventure, deepening my connection with Armenia and reinforcing my belief in the power of volunteering. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the AVC team for their professional organization and for seamlessly integrating me into my volunteer role. Whether you are just starting your career or embarking on a new phase of your life, volunteering with AVC is an enriching and transformative experience. It’s not about working for free; it’s about shaping your soul and making a lasting impact on a country that holds a special place in your heart.
Diana Khairutdinova is experienced in sales and marketing management for about 20 years, worked for big international retail companies like IKEA, and developed a TV shopping business in Russia. In 2023 she made her second volunteer Professional Corps program with AVC. Both times she chose to work in completely different fields: in Silva Kaputikyan home museum she wrote excursions and acted as a proofreader for a book in Russian and this year makes tour guides at the History Museum of Armenia; and also helped to organize the Harvest Festival among other works in Green Lane NGO.