Gavar Municipality, UNICEF and Youth Initiatives Center NGO launch Gavar’s first youth house for adolescents and young people
Yerevan, 13 October, 2022 – Gavar municipality, UNICEF and Gyumri Youth Initiative Center NGO announced the official opening of Gavar’s first ever youth house today. The youth house is established based on UNICEF’s concept of safe spaces for children and adolescents and already serves 140 adolescents, including adolescents with disabilities. On an annual basis, the youth house will be able to work with 400 to 500 beneficiaries in total.
The youth house was made possible thanks to effective collaboration with community leaders and partners. The municipality of Gavar selected and allocated the premise of the youth house, as well as allocated 60 percent of the total establishment budget for renovation, installing water piping, landscaping and outside lighting, matching support from UNICEF. Together with the Gyumri Youth Initiative Center NGO, UNICEF renovated and furnished, installed solar panels, as well as supplied the center with utensils, development games, learning and recreation materials for various ages of children and adolescents. In addition, UNICEF and YIC trained new staff members for the center on adolescent development, principles of working with adolescents and young people and provision of child-friendly services.
“Every community needs adolescent-friendly spaces and services for them to have their own space to gather, benefit from informal educational opportunities, try to solve community problems together, learn how to work as a team and how to be active members of their community. At UNICEF, we know that these services help to increase resilience among adolescents. They are also designed to provide psychosocial support and referrals to more specialized services, when necessary,” shared Christine Weigand, UNICEF Representative in Armenia.
“We were excited to join hands with UNICEF for this goal. Young people are the backbone of our community, which is why we have invested in establishing this new service for adolescents and young people in order to create suitable development opportunities and resources for all. It’s an important point of inclusion for the community, as it will also serve the Gavar orphanage. We are sure that starting today, this center will become a favorite place for our young people,” noted Gurgen Martirosyan, Gavar mayor.
“Open youth centers create excellent opportunities for adolescents and young people to develop, make their voices heard, participate in the life of the community, and expand their skills and employability. This contributes not only to their individual development and growth, but also, the development of their community,” said Artur Najaryan, Chairman of the Board of the Gyumri Center for Youth Initiatives NGO.
The youth house will offer individual and group youth work, consulting, educational clubs and workshops, as well as recreational activities, such as excursions, community and networking events. It will have five main directions, focusing on education, professional orientation, employment, entertainment and promotion of healthy lifestyle.
To ensure the sustainability of the youth house, Gavar municipality has also included the operation costs, including staffing and utilities, in its five-year budget plan.
Together with partners, UNICEF has already helped establish youth houses and centers in Dvin, Echmiadzin, Armavir and Mrgashen. By 2024, UNICEF will also establish two new youth houses in Syunik and Shirak regions, with the support of the Armenian community in Argentina.
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.