While travelling in Georgia I met guys like this. Nice, a?.. 🙂
In Gyumri Red Cross I had a great pleasure to participate in the creation process of “Ray of Hope”, an after-school activity club for children from poor families. Main activities there will be dancing, reading, embroidering, drawing, playing, teaching of psychology, etc.
I am sure that time spent in “Ray of Hope” will give much pleasure both for Red Cross volunteers and children. Karine, one of RCY volunteers: “I am so happy to be a part of teaching team of “Ray of Hope”. First of all because in Gyumri there are not so many opportunities for young people to spend a leasure time. Most of the time they stay at home. Work in “Ray of Hope” will also give me much practice with children. I am a psychology student and by playing with them I will get a huge practical basis for my future work”.
Nothing can be more pleasant than running away from the city chaos and hiding yourself somewhere in the nature. Here are some moments from the trip to the mountains in the North of Armenia.
8th of May – an International day of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies that is celebrated by Red Cross people all over the world. Celebrating of birthday of Red Cross founder, Henry Dunant has got much more important meaning than just birthday. Today it is the day when main Red Cross work values are underlined with the focus on humanity, help and peace. Nevertheless with children we decided to combine both – birthday party and talk about peaceful and beautiful world.
Drawing with chalk is an activity adored by every single child. We decided to repeat this activity done by Red Cross Youth some years ago. Our small project “Let’s make a present – draw a perfect world for Henry” took place in playgrounds of Shirak and Aeracia dormitories.
Henry Dunant cared about people in need. We hope that we managed to send the message for children about importance of humanitarism, good world and, most important, good people.
For us, organizers, this day was very special and inspiring. Children were very engaged in drawing and they were very passionate when they talked about good world which they imagined and which they would like to live in.
I had a pleasant afternoon tour to Ashtarak, a small industrial town lying in the neighbourhood of Yerevan. The most impressive points of the trip were walking along the Kasagh river gorge and visiting miniature churches. Enjoy the pictures!
Gyumri, an Armenian town which has been known for ages as a place for trades and arts, by Armenians is called the heart of lands culture. Unfortunately a powerful earthquake in 1988 has destroyed its look and shaked up its soul. Time has passed and the world has almost forgotten the 1988 year catastrophe. After twenty years Gyumri still remains an earthquake recovery zone. According to the statistics Gyumri registers the lowest rates of economic growth and highest rates of unemployment throughout Armenia.
Today Red Cross group in Gyumri has still been stretching arms towards vulnerable groups of people in the town: refugees and survivors of the earthquake who remained living in poor conditions. Through the “Psycho – social program” with the help of energetic young volunteers these people have been given attention and help when needed.
During several years volunteers have also developed an idea to establish a club for the children from the poorest families in one of the town regions called “Avtokajan”. We fell in love with the idea of establishing the club “Ray of Hope” and we worked with volunteers to start up the activity. In the middle of April we have an openning of the club. All best for volunteers and “Ray of Hope” children!
How do children at school in Armenia understand volunteerism and humanitarian work? What are their emotions when they see people who suffer? Do they understand that in order to help others, money is not necessarily needed? Together with Trygve we had a couple of school visits where we presented International Red Cross organization, also had a discussion about humanitarian work and volunteerism.
I was surprised that none of the children could explain what does it mean to be a volunteer. We talked about human suffering, tried to find out reasons why there are so many people who suffer, children also made plans how could they help others now. In the end of our little seminar one of children said: “It seems that during this hour we bacame much better because his topic touched our feelings and now we are more aware of human suferring”.
Children were very excited to participate in the exercise with the cloth where they left their handprints with promise not to violate human rights.