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QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

Fall 2011, Issue 6

Benevolent

NGO

Connecting for Peace in the South Caucasus


A final conference within the Establishing a Human Resources Network for Peace in the South Caucasus initiative took place on November 4th, 2011. NGO representatives from Armenia and Georgia, along with guests from Germany, Canada and the United States attended the conference. The conference aimed to share the accomplishments to date and provide an opportunity for participants to plan future initiatives together. In his opening remarks, Mr. Christoph Breunig, the Deputy Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Armenia, emphasized the importance of implementing peace-building initiatives in the region and promoting peace-making behaviors among youth. Project organizers presented the main activities implemented within the initiative and passed the floor to project alumni from Armenia and Georgia who shared their experiences with conference attendees. One of the outcomes of the project was the publication of a training manual on conflict management and peace building which will be available in three languages: English, Rus-

sian and Armenian. During the second half of the conference NGO representatives present had an opportunity to talk about their projects and initiatives in peace building and exchanged ideas on how to collaborate in the future. The conference was funded by the Institute for Foreign Relations (ifa) with funds from the German Federal Foreign Office.

Improving kindergarten conditions in Yeghegnadzor


Recently Syunik NGO received approval from the German Embassy in Armenia for a proposal to improve the conditions of kindergarten N1 in Yeghegnadzor. Before the approval, representatives from the German Embassy had visited the Installing the playground kindergarten and had seen the difficult conditions of the kindergarten needing urgent attention. With the financial support of the German Embassy in Armenia, the kindergarten yard was renovated and a new playground was installed. The labour for these improvements was provided by Yeghegnadzor Youth Bank volunteers who were sponsored by the Eurasia Partnership Foundation and Syunik NGO. Both Syunik NGO and Kindergarten N1 extend their gratitude to the German Embassy whose continuous support to the Vayots Dzor region has made such a difference in the lives of so many people in the region.

The British Ambassador Visits Syunik NGO

Delegation from German Bundestag Visit Syunik


On November 17, 2011 a delegation from the German Bundestag (Parliament) visited Syunik NGO. Among the guests were Viola von Cramon (member of German Bundestang), Dr. Soren Roos, Dr. Elmar Kulke (Professor at the Department of Geography in Humboldt University, Berlin), and Constantin Zelenty (the Third Secretary of the German Embassy to Armenia). During a meeting with the staff members of Syunik NGO and with representatives of other NGOs in Vayots Dzor, they had an opportunity to learn about the various projects and activities in the region. Mrs. Cramon was particularly interested in the agricultural and rural development initiatives of Syunik NGO and expressed her willingness to return, to learn more about these activities through field visits. During their visit, the delegation also had a meeting with Gitelik University students and presented the International Parliamentary Scholarship (IPS) Program which provides qualified young people from the USA and Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe with the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in Germanys system of parliamentary government.

On September 30th Charles Lonsdale, the British Ambassador to Armenia, visited Syunik NGO. During his visit the Ambassador met with participants of the Active Citizens project, who presented their projects to the Ambassador and discussed accomplishments achieved to date. Among the projects presented were: Our city is our home, Active generation, active community and Beautiful dancers. As part of the Our city is our home project, Yeghegnadzor Youth Bank members installed garbage cans on the streets of Yeghegnadzor, which have resulted in the improvement of the appearance of the Yeghegnadzor downtown area. Authors of the initiative called Active generation, active community introduced handicraft and chess classes in the Hermon Community Center of Syunik NGO, while the Beautiful dancers project supplied dance uniforms to students who were members of the dance club of the Vayk Social Service Center. Ambassador Lonsdale followed his meeting at Syunik NGO with a visit to Noravank, where he was introduced to the Preserve our Cultural Values project, another initiative implemented within the framework of the Active Citizens project.

Mr. Charles Lonsdale (in the middle) with Active Citizens

German Delegation

On October 18, 2011, representatives from the US Embassy in Armenia visited Syunik NGO and Gitelik University. They had a meeting with several NGO representatives from the Vayots Dzor region and presented a funding opportunity through the US Embassys Democracy Commission Small Grants Program. They also introduced a new program, 2012 Summer Study

US Embassy officials present new projects

of the United States Institutes, to participants of the meeting. This program provides a six-week exchange for professionals interested in US culture and society. Presentations were followed by discussion which gave participants an opportunity to learn more about US embassy projects.

Literary evening in Hermon Community Center

Joint Civic Education meets to evaluate outcomes


The Joint Civic Education (JCE) Evaluation Seminar took place in Tbilisi, Georgia from November 21-26, 2011. The seminar brought together alumni, fellows and representatives from partner NGOs to share their experiences, present outcomes of JCE project and discuss what future steps they might take to improve the program further. JCE is an initiative implemented by MitOst, CRISP and Iris Group to promote professional development among youth and regional cooperation between different NGOs in the South Caucasus. Syunik NGO was presented by Nara Martirosyan, Manager of International and Public Affairs, and Gevorg Matevosyan, an assistant at Syunik NGO who is a Fellow of the JCE program. JCE is funded by the Civil Conflict Resolution Program (zivik) of the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), with co-funding from the German Federal Foreign Office and from Robert Bosch Stiftung.

Kids performing at the literary evening

A literary evening dedicated to famous Armenian, Russian and English poets and fairy tale writers was organized in Hermon Community Center in September. The literary evening involved students from Hermon and neighboring villages. Among the guests attending the event were Bishop Abraham Mkrtchyan, the primate of Vayots Dzor Diocese, Syunik staff members, and teachers and parents not only from Hermon but also from the neighboring villages of Goghtanik, Yeghegis and Artabuynk. During the evening children performed poems, songs and dances.

Announcement
The Opening Ceremony of the Kindergarten stalled with the financial support of the EmN1 in Yeghegnadzor will take place on Decem- bassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in ber 16th, 2011 at 12:00pm. The kindergarten Armenia. yard was renovated and a new playground in-

Nara Martirosyan Office of International & Public Affairs Syunik Benevolent NGO
Benevolent NGO

Tel/Fax: +374 (0281) 24009 Email: oipa.syunikngo@yahoo.com www.syunikngo.am

Momiki St. 5, 3601 Yeghegnadzor, Vayots Dzor Province, Republic of Armenia