September 07, 2018, Yerevan- More than 300 young activists, out of which 100 are from Georgia and 200 from Armenia, had the opportunity to strengthen their skills and competences in social advocacy campaigns and public speaking, in the framework of “Young Activist” Project implemented in various regions of Armenia and Georgia. By coincidence, following the last of the 18 workshops held within the framework of the project in April 2018, the Velvet Revolution broke out in Armenia and most of the “graduates” of the project made a considerable contribution to the successful outcome of the “upheaval” as many of them
were active organisers of protests in their respective communities.
The workshop phase was followed by a Summer School in Tsaghkadzor and a Regional Conference on "Youth for Freedom and Democracy" in June 2018 in Yerevan, dedicated to civil activism.
Overall, 80 young people from all regions of Armenia and 5 Southern regions of Georgia participated in the Summer School and Conference.
The Conference was attended also by high ranking officials currently holding positions in the new government, such as Secretary of the National Security Council Mr. Armen Grigoryan, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs Ms. Kristine Asatryan, as well as Ambassador of Czech Republic to Armenia Mr. Petr Mikyska,
International Aid/Co-operation Officer in Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Armenia, Ms. Line Urban, Head of Country Office in Armenia, People in Need Ms. Vard Dadunts (Czech Republic), Chairman of the Board of Podlaska Regional Development Foundation Mr. Andrzej Parafiniuk (Poland), President of the Journalists' Club Asparez, “Reject Serzh” Initiative Mr. Levon Barseghyan, Consultant, International expert in EU neighbourhood policy Mr. Jan Ondrus (Slovakia), Ms. Irene Danielyan, Civil society expert, Capacity Building Coordinator at “STRONG CSOs” EU-funded project, Mr. Amiran Gelashvili from the Public Movement Multinational Georgia, Mr. Arsen Simonyan, Regional Programme Manager at Save the Children Armenian Representative Office, Ms. Tatevik Barseghyan, Coordinator of the Anti-Corruption educational programs, Transparency International Center, Armenia, Ms. Nare Hayrapetyan, Head of the “Citizen Code” Civil Society Development NGO. Mr. Johannes Douma, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to Armenia and Georgia, was among the other honorable guests to address the participants with a video message. The coordinator of the project “Young Activist”, head of the “Free Citizen” Civic Initiatives’ Support Center Hovsep Khurshudyan led the Conference. The subsequent discussions were aimed at identifying key problems of post-revolutionary development and the role of young people in it, as well as the experience of Visegrad 4 countries and Georgia. At the Summer School the participants designed a package of proposals regarding the institutionalization of youth-government structured dialogue was submitted to the Representatives of the Armenian authorities.
In the course of the Conference, the organisers awarded prizes to the young people who demonstarted during the last three years civic proactive stance. Former political prisoner Gevorg Safaryan was awarded a prize in the nomination “Free Citizen-2016’’ (https://www.azatutyun.am/a/27461935.html), Shahen Haroutyunyan was awarded a prize in the nomination “Free Citizen-2017’’ "Free citizens" Civil Initiatives Support Center non-governmental organization was founded in 2012 by a group of like-minded citizens of Armenia, to contribute to the stengthening of the civil society in Armeniaand to provide professional support to civic initiatives. "Free citizen" is a part of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Armenian National Platform, the Black Sea NGO forum.
Address: 5a/13 Komitas ave., Yerevan, Armenia, Tel: +3220.127.116.11.24, +318.104.22.168.30
E-mail: email@example.com, Web-site: www.freecitizen.am
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkCuDqBxD3g), and Yervand Aghababyan was awarded a prize in the nomination “Free Citizen-2018’’
(https://web.facebook.com/ArmenianHighlands/videos/208241433099071/UzpfSTczMjI4NzE5ODoxMDE1NjA5Nzk1NzAwMjE5OQ/). The awardees received monetary reward with the amount of 100.000 AMD to be used at their discretion. Gevorg Safaryan earmarked the money for the Political Prisoners Support
Fund, Shahen Haroutyunyan donated the funds to providing stationery, books and maps to the students of orphanages, ahead of the school year, and Yervand Aghababyan financed the development of a project aimed at improving public procurement in the IT sector. The prizes were funded by the Visegrad International Fund and the Government of the Netherlands.
The “Young Activist” project was concluded with a study tour by 15 activists who were selected from 300 participants to three countries of the Visegrad Fund Czech Republic (Prague and Brno), Slovakia (Bratislava) and Hungary (Budapest). The study tour members met with the leader of the 1989 Velvet Revolution Youth Movement Mr. Simon Panek, had a discussion in the central office of the “Radio
Liberty” (Prague), met with former Czech Ambassador to the US Mr. Peter S. Kolar at the Civic Center in Prague, attended a lecture dedicated to the NATO regional interests at the EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, met with Ambassador Ms. Irena Krasnicka at the International Visegrad Fund (Bratislava), participated in a round-table discussion at the GLOBSEC (GLOBSEC – Global Security) office in Bratislava, as well as participated in additional 8 trainings, including trainings at the Transparency International Prague, People in Need Organisation, Central European University in Budapest, Youth
Councils of Slovakia and Hungry, Budapest Institute for Policies Analysis.
The "Young Activist" project was implemented by the “Free Citizen” Civic Initiatives’ Support Center and the Public Movement Multinational Georgia, in collaboration with “People in Need” (Czech Republic) and SALTO Eastern Europe and Caucasus Resources Center (Poland). The project was financed by the
International Visegrad Fund and the Netherlands' Government.
Free Citizen Civic Initiatives' Support Center NGO