December 9, 2009
One Day For Yerevan
Yerevan --- In observance of International Volunteer Day, on Saturday, December 5, the Armenian Volunteer Corps (AVC) organized “One Day for Yerevan”, the first of a series of community service projects bringing together volunteers who give one day for various projects throughout Armenia.
One hundred volunteers came together to clean Tsitsernakabert Park and the surrounding areas. Tsitsernakabert Park includes the memorial in remembrance of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, a significant landmark which attracts many tourists and foreign diplomats, but an area of Yerevan that has historically been polluted with common waste.
Joining AVC volunteers in “One Day for Yerevan” were volunteers from a wide range of organizations including the Brusov Linguistics Institute, Armenia Caritas, Professionals for Civil Society, and Aquatics Armenia. Volunteers began their clean-up at 11 AM and gathered throughout the day, ending at the Pyunic Association for the Disabled, where a Christmas tree was put up for Pyunic’s beneficiaries. In support of efforts to protect the planet, the Christmas tree was a potted one and will be re-planted in the spring.
Supporters of the successful community service project include the United Nations Volunteer Program and Jean Jacques Adjemian - Sanga Est LLC.
“We are profoundly grateful to the support of the UNV programme and Jean Jacques Adjemian – Sanga-Est LLC not only for their financial support but also for joining the effort of so many volunteers to serve Armenia,” stated AVC director Sharistan Melkonian.
“Volunteers from all over Armenia and AVC volunteers from all over the world, simply joined together on Saturday to take responsibility for our city and to make a difference as volunteers do each and every day,” continued Melkonian. “Volunteerism is an integral part of a strong nation because a country’s needs always surpass the limits of government. Creating a community of engaged citizens is an important part of AVC’s mission.”
AVC volunteers agreed. “It was encouraging to work with so many local volunteers on a joint service project,” said AVC volunteer Deanna Cachoian Schanz of Westchester, New York.
AVC volunteer Raffi Messant of France was pleased at how much was accomplished. “It is amazing how much we were able to clean in such a short amount of time—just one day. Imagine what we could do with even more volunteers next time.”
Melkonian added that there will be a next time. AVC organizes regular community service projects throughout the year.
AVC was founded in 2000 to serve Armenia through volunteerism. Almost 300 volunteers have served in over 150 organizations throughout Armenia. For more information about AVC please visit www.armenianvolunteer.org.
AVC Volunteers and Alumni cleaning Tsitsernakabert Park in Yerevan on Saturday, December 5