Kerri Fitz and David Hatem have joined us from the USA. They thought that it would be fascinating to experience an ancient country like Armenia through immersion, an opportunity to really discover somewhere ‘off the beaten path’. During the next two months Kerri will be volunteering at the American Corner of Armenia and the Women's Resource Center, while David will be at the Institute for Political and Sociological Consulting (IPSC). They have both also opted to stay with two of our wonderful host families.
"Armenia sounds like a beautiful country with a very interesting history. I believe that volunteering in Armenia will give me a chance to keep adapting and help better prepare me for my future of working with people of all different backgrounds," says Kerri
"In volunteering in Armenia, I hope for the opportunity to contribute my personal skills in ways that help achieve a tangible difference in the lives of others. I also cherish the opportunity to see a part of the world I may never be able to see otherwise," says David
By the way, Kerri and David are professional runners and have already registered to take part in the Yerevan Half Marathon on
Good luck, guys!
Geoffrey CHANAL-RAFFIER vient de la France. Avec un master en Sciences Politiques et Relations Internationales de l'Université Jean-Moulin Lyon 3, Geoffrey a déjà fait du volontariat en Lettonie et en Macédoine. Pendant son séjour à l'étranger Geoffrey a rencontré beaucoup d'arméniens, il a même eu des camarades de chambres arméniens.
"Je me suis immédiatement senti proches d'eux. J'étais impressionné par leur gentillesse et leur amour pour leur pays”, dit Geoffrey. Geoffrey est sur que le volontariat en Arménie lui donnera l'opportunité de s'intégrer dans la vie locale et aussi acquérir de l'expérience professionnelle.
P.S. Qui veut le féliciter? Geoffrey vient de se marier… En Arménie... Avec une arménienne :)
Meet Mayaan! Our new volunteer from Canada.
As a professional makeup artist, Mayaan is teaching theatrical makeup classes at the Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinematography, by the way, for the first time in the history of the university! But wait, in addition to her professional placement, Mayaan has also decided to give basic English classes to preschool children.
"Why Armenia? I think for me, wanting to volunteer there is tied to my strong Jewish identity. Ever since learning of the Armenian genocide and the parallels it has with what happened to my people and my family, I have felt a sort of kinship with Armenians. This year, on the centenary of the genocide, I knew that if I travelled and volunteered anywhere, I would want it to be in Armenia, where I could help, even in a small way, a people that have been through so much to build a safe and prosperous homeland", says Mayaan.
Meet Herbert Schiff and Linda Shahinian from the USA. They have been married for 33 years and are 73 and 71 years old respectively. They were tourists in Armenia last year and they decided that this time they wanted to spend a little longer here and be useful at the same time.
Linda now volunteers at the Acopian Center For the Environment at the American University of Armenia, whil Herb does archeological field research at the Scientific Research Center of the Historical and Cultural Heritage.
"After seeing, firsthand the great work happening in Armenia, we decided that now was the time to be a part of it. Partly to support my wife, but also because of my very strong feeling that Armenia is coming into its own, it was important to me that I apply to AVC to volunteer my time. I would like to be, in whatever way I can, part of helping Armenia achieve its great potential," says Herb.
Sarpuhi Kaprielian was born and raised in Bulgaria. Her family is one of the long-established Armenian families of Plovdiv, where there is an old and active community. She has been to Armenia before for very brief visits; but this time is different.
"I owe myself an answer to the question "what do I want to do next and I hope to find that answer in Armenia. My coming to Armenia is not just about volunteering and letting my expertise work for the benefit of the Armenian nation. What I actually hope to find in Armenia is a sense of professional satisfaction. An old prayer says that we should accept the things we cannot change and have the courage to change the things we can. So this is what I am going to do in Armenia while looking for new ways," says Sarpuhi.
Sarpuhi volunteers at One Armenia, working on a new project aimed at helping Armenia become a hiking-friendly country. :)