UNICEF signs memorandums of understanding to establish youth houses in Ejmiatsin and Armavir
21 March 2022
With the funding of the Government of Japan, UNICEF partners with Heads of Vagharshapat and Armavir and Youth Initiative Center NGO to establish youth houses.
UNICEF Representative Christine Weigand signed memorandums of understanding today with Head of Vagharshapat Community Ms Diana Gasparyan, Head of Armavir Community Mr Davit Khudatyan and President of Gyumri Youth Initiative Center NGO Mr Artur Najaryan on the establishment of youth houses in Vagharshapat and Armavir. The youth houses will be established based on UNICEF’s concept of safe spaces for children and will provide around 500-1,000 children and adolescents, including children with disabilities, with extracurricular education, professional orientation, career counseling and networking through individual and group work, training, excursions, community events and study visits.
“Vagharshapat and Armavir are home to hundreds of adolescents and young people, including from Nagorno-Karabakh, that have the creativity, energy and problem-solving skills to tackle community issues, exercise civic activism and contribute to the development of their communities. But they need support,” said Christine Weigand, UNICEF Representative in Armenia. “Through the establishment of these youth houses or safe spaces for children, as UNICEF calls it, we hope to provide them with a common space and outlet to build their skills, foster innovation, support each other and become active members of their community.”
The municipalities of Vagharshapat and Armavir have already selected and allocated the premises of the youth houses. Together with the Gyumri Youth Initiative Center NGO, UNICEF will renovate and furnish, as well as supply the centers with utensils, development games, learning and recreation materials for various ages of children. Once the municipalities onboard new staff members for the center, UNICEF and YIC will also provide them with training on adolescent development, principles of working with adolescents and young people and provision of child-friendly services.
“We are hopeful that this youth house will expand opportunities for adolescents of Vagharshapat and Armavir to participate meaningfully in their communities, voice their views and opinions. Together with UNICEF and other partners, Gyumri Youth Initiative Center NGO will work to develop platforms for adolescents to share their experiences and propose solutions, as well as co-create solutions that support their transition into adult life and work,” noted Artur Najaryan, President of Gyumri YIC NGO.
The municipalities of Vagharshapat and Armavir plan to cover the running costs, including staffing and utilities, of the respective centers as community-based services. During emergencies, the youth houses will also be prepared to serve as safe and child-friendly spaces where children, adolescents and youth can receive psychosocial support and other services.