AGBU and UNICEF partner to promote diaspora engagement for community development in Armenia
Nurturing the links between Armenia and its diaspora
Yerevan, 26 April 2017 – United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) country office in Armenia and Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Armenia signed a memorandum of understanding in Yerevan today, whereby the two organizations joined hands to promote diaspora engagement for local community and civil society development in Armenia through the free web-based Together4Armenia.am platform. This innovative platform allows for transfer of knowledge and skills from a network of diaspora-based experts to local communities and civil society organizations in Armenia.
“While the platform was primarily designed to target areas of concern to children and youth, from the start it had the potential to expand to other areas, such as art and culture, information technologies, agriculture or other, with the same logic of engagement,” noted UNICEF Representative in Armenia Tanja Radocaj. “Nurturing these links between Armenia and its diaspora is important not only for the children, youth and families living in local communities who need our support but also for building trust and initiation of more complex partnership initiatives in the future.”
The platform was originally developed within the framework of the “Social Response to Labour Migration in Armenia” project (2014-2016) funded by the European Union and implemented by UNICEF in Armenia. Joining the initiative, AGBU Armenia introduces its new “BRIDGE for CSOs” project, also funded by the EU, aiming to improve the capacities of local civil society organizations to better respond to citizens’ needs, which is also at the heart of the Together4Armenia platform.
“Institutionalizing our partnership with UNICEF around an important “skill transfer” online tool will allow AGBU to catalyze diaspora potential. Diaspora’s meaningful engagement is a strategic priority for AGBU. It will help us advance our mission to serve as a trusted connecting platform for shaping viable solutions for a stronger Armenia,” said AGBU Armenia President and AGBU Central Board member Vasken Yacoubian.
In the future, UNICEF will continue its work in the four target regions (Lori, Tavush, Shirak, and Gegharkunik) focusing on projects relevant to children’s needs. AGBU will focus on projects of broader scope and reach with the goal to build the professional capacity of local civil society organizations in Armenia through matching with relevant experts from the Diaspora and establishing a sustainable educational mechanism for non-profit management with a local university.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.