Are you thinking about bringing your professional skills to Armenia but not quite sure how to do it? AVC participant, Dzovig Harkian, from Lebanon, knew she wanted to make a long-term commitment to living and working in Armenia, but didn’t know where to start. She found out about the benefits of volunteering through AVC to be supported while getting to know the lay of the land. Having done that this past spring, Dzovig returned to Yerevan late fall with the express goal of relocating here permanently.
After completing her Master’s degree in International Organizations, Dzovig’s inspiration began with writing her motivation letter as part of her AVC application. She realized she needed a trial and error period in Armenia where she could build a network for herself, establish strong relationships and feel that she is part of a community.
As a volunteer Dzovig worked at UNICEF-Together4Armenia, where she assisted with training in sustainable development skills and capacity building for NGOs in Dilijan, Vanadzor, and Yerevan. Dzovig also volunteered for Orran Children’s Center. She designed and delivered workshops that focus on three points: life skills such as self-awareness, self-development, and self-assessment, power of communication, and public speaking. These powerful, lifelong learning tools help individuals see their potential for success, not only in their careers but also in their personal lives.
Dzovig speaks about feeling fulfillment during her workshops. “This is the first time they are hearing these ideas. Seeing the youth and women inspired and motivated is exactly what I came here to do. Showing them that they have inner power, capabilities and that there’s hope, makes me feel like I’m doing something worthy and of value.” She has extended her workshop training to Yerevan State University students and people with disabilities at the Emili Aregak Center in Gyumri, high school students in Armavir, and women’s empowerment at Spitak Helsinki Group. And when not doing her workshops, she meets with NGOs as a consultant in technical issues at Impact Hub. Professionally, Dzovig works as a Professional Humanitarian Trainer and Consultant and Lifelong Learning Advocate. She provides training and consultancy in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, skills and capacity building solutions for NGOs.
Here’s another positive outcome: She plans to open a startup academy to train the next Armenian generation of humanitarians with skill and will. “People here are very thirsty for knowledge, but there’s this gap. We need to plant seeds in their hearts and minds to help them grow. I encourage everyone to come and do something here in Armenia. It’s very rewarding knowing you have a purpose. I can now better answer the question of ‘why am I here?’”