My name is Tatev Antonyan, I am 23 years old, and I am a local volunteer from Gyumri. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, and now I am studying translations/English-Armenian. I started to volunteer in September 2020, working with two jobsites, namely Women’s Rights House NGO and Berlin Art Hotel. My primary duty was translating and editing texts. I decided to volunteer, aiming to gain experience in my field (translation), improve my language skills, find new friends and expand my worldview.
During the volunteering period, I carried out several different tasks. In Women’s Rights House NGO, I translated various documents, learned to write projects, and researched grants. As the inception of my volunteering coincided with the beginning of the war and people from Artsakh came to Gyumri, I helped them pack food and hygiene products, then visited another city to provide aid to them. I was also actively engaged in making camouflage nets to be sent to the frontline, which I found to be a rewarding experience.
Volunteering gave me an opportunity to expand the circle of my friends, establishing new acquaintances both on professional and personal levels. Communicating with volunteers from different countries, I have succeeded in improving my language skills, which, in its turn, helped me feel more comfortable speaking English.
I have been actively involved in forums, which were very interesting and effective. One of the most remarkable examples of the effectiveness was that after visiting the house-museum of Hovhannes Shiraz and decided to write an article about his poem, “Monument to my Mother.” Once my lecturer read my article, she praised me, saying that it is a very good and unique article, it is not ordinary, and I got a high grade.
In general, I had an amazing experience with Armenian Volunteer Corps (AVC) and Birthright Armenia. In the process of working, I felt like I was not learning anything new, there is no progress, but personal and professional growth became evident at the end of my volunteering term. It would be expedient to mention that during this period, I asked a variety of questions to both Sona and Khachik (our coordinators in Gyumri), and they always gave comprehensive answers.
Summing up, I can indeed say that it is always a good idea to volunteer, particularly with AVC and BR.