RA ESCS Ministry hosted about 30 guests who arrived in Armenia as part of the study visit organized by the “Youth Initiative Center” NGO and the Foundation “FUNDACJA LAJA” (Poland) from Poland, the Czech Republic and Georgia.
Head of the Department for Youth Policy, Supplementary and Continuing Education Zara Aslanyan received the guests and presented state programs on youth policy. President of Gyumri “Youth Initiative Center” NGO Arthur Najarian participated in the meeting.
During the visit organized within the framework of the EU “Erasmus+” program, 29 representatives of state and non-state structures visited the cities Spitak, Gyumri and Armavir, had meetings with the representatives of municipalities, visited the “Tumo” Educational Center, “Orran” and COAF in Gyumri. The objective of the study visit was to enhance the efficiency of the development of youth policy and the implementation of youth work by promoting inter-sectoral cooperation between state and non-state structures and youth participation.
Head of the Department for Youth Policy, Supplementary and Continuing Education Zara Aslanyan stressed that the basis of the state youth policy of Armenia is the creation of an environment in which young people will have maximum opportunities.
“Programs aimed at youth policy can be divided into two sections: programs aimed at advancing the abilities, knowledge and opportunities of young people, for example, media literacy, financial literacy, and increasing knowledge related to a healthy lifestyle. And, secondly, the programs through which we inform the youth about the activities going on both in Armenia and abroad, and create opportunities for their participation,” said Zara Aslanyan.
She also informed that by 2026 it is planned to establish 25 youth centres in the regions, outside of Yerevan to provide a youth environment, where young people will reveal their abilities and opportunities along with intellectual entertainment.
Another important program, according to the head of the Department for Youth Policy, Supplementary and Continuing Education, is aimed at providing affordable housing to young families, thanks to which young people get the opportunity to live and engage in activities in their communities.
Zara Aslanyan also informed that the ESCS Ministry conducts a “Training of a Youth Worker” course which involves workers of youth centres operating in regions, representatives of youth non-governmental organizations, and employees of municipalities. It is also planned to promote the systematic development of youth work and volunteering.
“One of the most important points is the cooperation of the Ministry with our partner structures - youth organizations. We are currently working on the development of the law “On Youth” with our partners. This is one of the priorities of the Ministry and an important requirement from the point of view of regulating the sector,” emphasized Zara Aslanyan.
During the meeting, the guests asked questions to the representatives of the Ministry regarding youth capital, selection criteria and programs implemented in these cities. Within the framework of the visit to Armenia, the guests also visited Metsamor, which is the youth capital of 2023.
Chief Specialist of the Department Armenuhi Petrosyan addressed the topic of youth capitals: “The program has two objectives: to activate youth life in the community and to advance cooperation between youth organizations, community authorities and the Ministry. In this regard, we can also state that the cooperation is becoming successful year by year. When Sisian was first proclaimed the youth capital of the Republic of Armenia, there were very few youth non-governmental organizations there, and youth life was very passive, but as a result of the program, there are still youth organizations in Sisian that are in active communication with the Ministry and implement various programs.”
According to the president of Gyumri “Youth Initiative Center” NGO Arthur Najarian, the educational visit gave the international groups the opportunity to get acquainted with the activities of various state and non-state organizations operating in Armenia and working with youth, as well as the best practices of inter-sectoral cooperation programs, to ensure the professional growth of the participants. establishing new partnerships and initiating new ideas and projects.
“In Armenia cooperation between the youth sector and the state has now gathered new strength and begun to bear fruit. I think it was a good experience for international groups to understand on the spot the state approach and state programs aimed at youth policy,” noted Arthur Najaryan.
The guests also inquired about the opportunities and challenges created for the youth in Armenia, and the activities aimed at solving them.