My group and I had a fantastic year in 2002-2003.
We were thirteen volunteers, mostly serving in Yerevan, and we came at a time before cell phones, WiFi, or indoor heating and hot water in most buildings. Yet we still bonded with one another, as well as our communities, and made it through the coldest winter that Yerevan had seen in 100 years.
I volunteered at the Center for the Development of Civil Society, which is a local NGO led by an energetic former professor of linguistics, as well as at Armenian Consumer’s Union and the “Makur Yerevan” (“Clean Yerevan”) program of the Tufenkian Foundation.
To this day, I remain good friends with my former coworkers, volunteers, and host family.
Sarah Ludwig, who is not of Armenian heritage, volunteered in Armenia for one year. She is now the Executive Director of The Armenian Higher Education Initiative, which aims to bring together students and educators of Armenian descent for courses designed to complement university curricula in order to meet international standards in higher education.