We’re delighted to share with you the stories of three diverse AVC volunteers: Darya Jumel, 29, from France, Vachagan Isanians, 68, from the United States, and Vatche Tavitian, 34, from Australia, who are united in their desire to live and serve in Armenia in its time of need. Read on for some real-life inspiration.
Vachagan is a man of many interests and experiences. With a background in business management and photography, when he retired, Vachagan joined the US Peace Corps, completing two-year missions in Macedonia and Ukraine where his focus was Community Development. After these experiences, he planned his trip to Armenia and joined AVC. He is now teaching a photography course at Shirakatsy Lyceum, and providing business consulting at AMIA NGO working with displaced families from Artsakh. “Right now Armenia needs educated people more than ever. If you want to make a real impact, here’s your chance to do so. AVC’s program gives you a lot of opportunities to exchange your skills in benefit to our homeland. This is a great motivation for me to work harder and get inspired by the result.”
“Empower the voices of those most impacted by this war.” ~ Darya Jumel
Darya is an art therapist, who came from France to help the children develop their language of emotions. Through her trauma-informed approaches, she is providing psychological support to child victims of the 2020 Artsakh war. She’s practicing at All For Armenia whose sponsorship program supports Hagopik, a 5 year-old refugee traumatized due to cluster munitions during the recent war. Darya’s active, caring, and generous nature makes her ideally suited for this mission. “In Armenia the trauma of war plunges some children into silence. I decided to bring my energy and skills to contribute to the healing recovery of Artsakh children and their families. To empower the voices of those most impacted by this war.”
And finally, Vatche Tavitian, from Australia, participated in the Birthright Armenia program back in 2016. After leaving Armenia, he soon began seriously thinking about repatriation andwhen the war happened he made a life-changing decision to return to Armenia . That’s how he became an AVC volunteer. Today, Vatche is volunteering at COAF, helping to develop educational, health, and infrastructure programs in the rural regions of Armenia. “There was a lot of talk during the war about diasporans returning to Armenia. Birthright and AVC are the perfect programs to genuinely experience Armenia. It’s true, you get to see the beauty of Armenia, but you also see the reality, and it’s harsh. There is a lot of work to do, but I have never been more motivated in my life.”