Three ‘awesome’ ideas will be brought to life in Syunik

The winners of a ‘Youth Initiatives’ competition were announced at Armenia’s International Youth Day celebration in Kapan, promising exciting innovations

Zhanna Ulikhanyan
Երիտասարդության միջազգային օրը Կապանում։
UNICEF Armenia/2021/Biayna Mahari
18 August 2021

On August 12 the central square of the city of Kapan was the scene of an International Youth Day celebration. An exhibition, a quiz, a concert… many things were planned. Young people from nearby and distant communities came to Kapan to have fun together.

As part of the celebration, the three winners of a Youth Initiatives competition launched by UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund, the Awesome Foundation and the NGO Development Initiatives were announced during the concert. The first two winners received the equivalent of US$ 1,000 from UNICEF, while the third winner received from UNFPA, to transform their ideas into a reality.

Here’s what the three winners plan for the youth in their communities.

Գարիկը նստած է Շինուհայր գյուղում իրենց տան աստիճաններին
UNICEF Armenia/2021/Biayna Mahari

‘Profi’ youth centre in Shinuhayr village

Garik Hayrapetyan, 17 years old

“When we want to implement a project or organize courses with young people, we often cannot make it happen because we don’t have a suitable place or a centre. Recently, one of my acquaintances sent me the link to this contest, and I decided to apply for it. After discussing the details with friends, I filled out the grant application ‒ just half an hour before the deadline!

There are no organized activities for young people in our village, so I think the emphasis of the youth centre should be on that. We will provide an environment that encourages teamwork, along with motivational literature to stimulate self-development and develop soft skills. The centre will become a place where young people in the community will be able to do a thousand-and-one jobs online and implement a thousand-and-one projects.

Young people need a signal, motivation to self-educate and improve their community. I hope this centre will be that exact signal. If there is no self-development, there will be no development in the community either, because people develop communities. If people don’t work on themselves, they cannot work on the development of their community.

‘Self-educate, self-educate, self-educate’ ‒ this is my call. Today, the internet opens so many doors, one can explore thousands of new subjects. Self-education not only provides knowledge and hard skills; it also ensures the development of soft skills, such as thinking about the community, patriotism and other values.”

"We, the young people, must put our noses everywhere, participate in many projects, be involved in something good. If we don’t do anything for our homeland, don’t make changes, future generations may follow that example. Especially now, considering the state of the country, young people should be several times more active, agile and nimble.”

Գարիկը Կապանում կտեղադրի արևային էներգիայով աշխատող առաջին հեռախոսների լիցքավորման կայանը։
UNICEF Armenia/2021/Biayna Mahari

Solar power station in the centre of Kapan

Garik Sargsyan, 31 years old

“I wanted to do something different for Kapan. I saw the competition announcement and researched the topic a bit. I decided to propose the establishment of a solar-powered charging station for phones right in the centre of the city.

This can potentially jumpstart the development of solar energy in the city. To preserve our beautiful natural environment, we must prioritize ‘green’ energy. It's logical, isn't it, that to keep the green we have to bring ‘green’ approaches to our lives?

I have already talked to several companies dealing with solar energy and have chosen the best option. which has its own battery. Now I have to implement the project. There should be a station in the shape of an umbrella, where you can sit and charge your phone or other similar devices.

Although I live in Yerevan, my heart is in my hometown. I want to do something good for my city. Let this be the beginning, let this programme lay the foundation of spreading new ideas in Kapan.”

"We should start developing our hometowns in order to have a good society in the future. Everything comes from the youth. If every young person considers themselves to be an important part of community development and takes action, we can make our city younger, more innovative and greener.”

Արփին բլոգեր է Մեղրիում։
UNICEF Armenia/2021/Biayna Mahari

Blogger house in Meghri

Arpi Adamyan, 28 years old

“This idea has been on my mind for several years now, but today it is much more developed and refined and can become a reality. We will create a Blogger House in Meghri, which will become a workplace for active young people and bloggers.

The doors of Blogger House will be open to young people from all communities of and around Meghri. Here we will organize training on media literacy, photography, creating a blog, creating a video, editing, promoting the material on social media, and other topics.

We all live half-online nowadays; half of our day, if not more, is spent on social media. And young people should not be kept away from those platforms but should be guided on how to get the most from them, use them properly, evaluate the information they offer and convey it correctly. 

Blogger House of Meghri will be a pleasant, colorful, soft and quite informal environment, which will promote creativity. I want teenagers to be able to make quality materials, even if only with their phones. We will try to use the Meghri dialect as much as possible, to preserve it.

In the Blogger House of Meghri, young people can be trained, can process and disseminate information. We will focus on security and social and environmental issues. Ten to 15 young people will have the opportunity to not only articulate their opinions, but also to develop new skills and be better prepared to enter the labour market.”

"We must stay in our city. We must not leave and follow its life from afar. We must participate in that life and make our city, our region, our country more proactive.”

The project  to be implemented in Kapan is within "Adolescents for Climate Change" program (2019-2022)  funded by the Austrian Development Agency.