Insights from a local’s perspective | Melanya Khachatryan

Whenever I think about Armenian Volunteer Corps (AVC) or Birthright Armenia (BR) or my friends ask me to tell them about it, a whole bunch of emotions, memories, and exciting things come to my mind, and I start non-stop talking. But now, when I’m trying to convey its vibe to people outside of AVC/BR, I find myself in a difficult situation trying to pick up the right words for it.

I first learned about AVC/BR years ago, when my sister came from abroad to Armenia as a Birthright-er. I could guess how wonderful the experience offered was by just looking at her photos and listening to her stories. However, as someone born and living in Armenia for the entire life, I knew that I could never be a part of it. So imagine my excitement when I heard that AVC/BR was initiating a project to recruit locals as well.

Volunteering to Promote Progress in Armenia

With AVC/BR, I committed to community development, working at Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA) on a project for Gyumri, the 2nd largest city in Armenia, aiming to bring more liveliness, joy, and fun to the city. Working on a project like this, I realized how satisfying it is to promote growth and make progress in Armenia. Even though my internship is over, the project I was working on is still ongoing; it’s certainly going to take the city on to a whole new level.

Community Service Projects, Fun Activities and More

However, AVC/BR offers a lot more than a wonderful volunteering experience. Everyone, who has ever been on any AVC/BR event or activity, knows for sure how fun and memorable it is, and I’m no exception either. Although I only worked three months with them, I was lucky enough to attend a variety of activities such as forums, excursions, community service projects, and each one of them was so exciting and memorable that I could not even pick a favorite; maybe gathering eggplants in the afternoon in the sun? Painting murals on walls for kids while freezing outside? Or dashing to random places to do some crazy tasks? Every Saturday that I spent with AVC/BR was so well that all I remembered was a bunch of awesome warm memories that will remain in my heart forever at the end of the day.

During my time with AVC/BR, despite quite a short period and the difficult times Armenia was going through, I had one of the most amazing periods in my life. Not only do I feel that I have contributed considerably to my country and my people, but I also got to meet dozens of bright minds from all around the globe, from the US and Brazil to Russia, with incredibly amazing stories, motives, and vision.

 

Apply to the second round of local volunteering here. Good Luck!

01/12/2021