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11th AGBU “Discover Armenia” Program Brings 44 Diaspora-Armenian Youths to Armenia

In 2013 the AGBU Discover Armenia program celebrated its 10th anniversary. This year the program opened the first page of a decade inspired by strength and enthusiasm. This year the 11th Discover Armenia Program brought 44 Diaspora-Armenian youth from the USA, Lebanon, Canada, Monaco, Russia, Syria and France. As part of the three-week program, the participants went sightseeing, visited various cultural events, met with political and public figures. “I did not know much about my roots, but I have always been interested in my identity. When I had this opportunity to visit Armenia with my brother and sister as part of the same program, I decided that I had to take it. Before arriving in the Homeland I had quite different opinions about it, and now I am glad that what I imagined was completely different to the reality of Armenia and I am sure that in the future everything will be even better.” said Ian Walters from the USA. Participation in voluntary community projects and a visit to Artsakh are the key components of the program. As part of community projects the AGBU Discover Armenia Youth Program has been cooperating with Fuller Armenia, reaching out to needy families with housing problems. This year support was offered to Silikyan district in Yerevan. The Gdoyan family received help from Fuller Armenia and AGBU Youth in completing the construction of their house. “We have been renting an apartment in this block for years. I have two schoolchildren, 8 and 10 years of age. I work as a teacher. We have been constructing this house for the last five years but there were still a lot of things to do. Learning that Fuller Center and AGBU are carrying out such an initiative, I decided to turn to them for help. I must confess, that I am delighted with these children and their unity. They have come to the Homeland from the Diaspora with the aim of helping people like me. Being from different countries, not knowing each other very well they have united around a specific purpose to help an Armenian. I cannot find the words to express my gratitude. I am very grateful to everyone”, says Arpine Gdoyan, the owner of the house.