Volunteer projects in Armenia

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[edit] Current

[edit] Bridge of Hope Computer Education Center

Volunteer: Barbalace J.
Donations: Peace Corps Partnership Program

Bridge of Hope currently serves 180 children of Ijevan and surrounding villages, of which about 85 are disabled, most of which are from disadvantaged and at risk families. The primary goal of the organization is the equal education of all and has been an advocate of inclusive education. The organization currently partners with local schools and other organizations, including the local and regional governments to identify and provide support to these children

Currently availible are 5 computers that are being used full time in classes and camps. 5 additional computers that have been on loan are now being returned to their organizations as they are needed there. Currently there is a computer ratio in classes and activities of 2-3 children per computer which not only affects the quality of the program but also limits the number of children that can engage in the program.

The organization wants to engage the children in real world application of the skills receive which will help increase the use and retention of these skills. As a result it is the wish to have as part of the classroom activities, the creation of a student run newsletter highlighting the activities of the organization to the community future activities, student accomplishments and general organizational information.

Due to lack of adequate surge protection to protect the equipment from power surges in the local power grid, they have had the failure of 4 computers, 1 irreparably in the last 6 months, further depleting the resources available to the children. Also in use is aged, low capacity printing equipment and is need of a higher capacity copier/printer that can facilitate the economical printing and coping of organizational materials and newsletters.

[edit] Community Sports Facility

Volunteer: Manuszak S
Donations: Peace Corps Partnership Program

The local school in the small village in Northern Armenia was established in 1895, destroyed in 1988 by the earthquake, and finally rebuilt in 1997. The building is new; however, the area outside for sports and play is extremely hazardous. Manholes litter the playing premises, the concrete is cracked and full of loose rocks, and the topography of the land allows large amounts of water to fester for weeks. The education of the school is renown throughout the surrounding villages; however, physical education classes and after school extracurricular activities are lacking due to the condition of the playground. Not only does this offer health risks during the act of physical play for students, but there have been opportunities passed up by the school to compete with and host sporting events with other communities due to the lack of an adequate field. A well-developed soccer field, basketball court, volleyball court, and running-track would provide the community with a central point to encourage sports, physical activity, and personal well-being. This would be especially beneficial for the youth who otherwise typically spend their free time near street corners picking up the detrimental habits such as smoking and drinking. The community and I have created a proposal that will cost $10,973.70 for a new soccer field, basketball court, volleyball court, and running-track. The community’s in-kind contribution totals 29% of the total project’s cost. This is a great opportunity for men, women, boys, and girls of all ages to rally around a community project that will offer fitness and pave the way for consciousness of health within the community and the surrounding villages.

[edit] English Lab Modernization

Volunteer:Smallwood B.
Donations: Peace Corps Partnership Program

The goal of this project is to create a computer/internet-based English language lab in a local school offering special classes that utilize a wide range of new technologies, multi-media learning techniques, audio/visual aids, internet-based offerings and innovated teaching methods that will immerse school-age and adult learners alike in a total English atmosphere of learning. Afternoon classes will be for selected students from school #2 as well as 10 nearby villages. Morning classes will be offered to the adult learners of the area with the emphasis on business English. Scholarships will be offered as well as free computer training for area teachers.

First, the lab room must be modified and wired for internet. Six computers with all the requisite hardware, software and linkages must be purchased and set up. Curriculum must be designed and acquired that meets the high standards of this project. Teachers must be trained in the latest techniques of computer/internet-based teaching methods.

The impact on the community will be vast. English classes currently offered to students in the community are based on outdated techniques and use twenty-year old material. There are no classes for business English at all. For students to advance to a university education and good jobs, knowing more that mediocre English is imperative. For the community’s business sector to grow and thrive, the business community must understand and use English. This English language lab will be the mechanism through which young and adult learners alike can achieve their own goals of mastering the English language.

[edit] Let's Play: Gymnasium Restoration Project

Volunteer: Dayringer S.
Donations: Peace Corps Partnership Program

This project will restore the floors and equipment in an Armenian school gymnasium as well as provide the school with proper athletic equipment to use in it. This will create a safe and more efficient environment for the students, teachers and staff who work at the school.

This project will be sustained by proper maintenance, student and community action, and implemented by community members’ labor and skills. It will empower the people of this community to take action when a need arises in their area. The community will ensure the sustainable restoration of their school through community-based installation, replacements, and further regular maintenance of the gymnasium.

[edit] Previous

[edit] Armenia Institutions supported by Peace Corps projects

[edit] Koghb Art School http://www.koghbartschool.am/

This project was initiated by Kyle Gifford, Noyemberyan 2006-2008

[edit] Gavar Special School http://gavarspecialschool.org

Numerous PCVs have been involved with Gavar Special School since 2004. In cooperation with may other organizations, the leadership of Gavar Special School has been able to achieve a significant improvement in education quality for special needs children in the Gegharkunik Region of Armenia.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers continue involvement through the Lots of Sun Foundation (http://www.LotsOfSun.org) which has a mission to improve access to special needs education and the quality of the education.

[edit] American based nonprofits supporting projects in Armenia

[edit] Focus on Children Now http://www.focusonchildrennow.org/

Focus on Children Now is a grass roots organization which has supported the work of Peace Corps Volunteers throughout Armenia. Please visit http://fcnorg.com for more details and how to be involved.

[edit] Friends of Warm Hearth http://www.friendsofwarmhearth.org/

This project was initiated by Natalie Bryant Rizzieri, Kapan, A11 2003-2006

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