September 2, 2015, Republic Day in Nagorno-Karabakh saw a peak of excitement with the inauguration of a new center for learning, creativity and technology in the capital Stepanakert. The Simonian Educational Foundation and the Armenian General Benevolent Union joined forces to bring to the region the program of the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies in the framework of the recently established TUMOxAGBU partnership. The president of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Bako Sahakyan and the President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, were present at the opening marking this significant occasion with Sam Simonian, President of Simonian Education Foundation, Joseph Oughourlian and Vasken Yacoubian, members of the AGBU Central Board, Marie Lou Papazian, Director of Tumo, and Ralph Yirikian, General Manager of Karabakh Telecom. Student registration will begin on September 14 and orientation sessions for students and parents will take place on September 16, 19, 21, and 23. Students will embark on their Tumo adventure on October 5 as doors open to hundreds of 12-18 year olds from throughout the city and neighboring areas. It is expected that the new Stepanakert center will be welcoming 500 to 1,000 students, who will study with seasoned professionals and experts in animation, filmmaking, web development and game development, and in complementary fields such as 3D modeling, computer programming, music, photography and graphic design. The operational and startup costs for the center will be covered by AGBU through the generous contributions of founding supporters Avedis and Arsho Baghsarian, Joseph and Jenny Oughourlian, and Victor Zarougian and Judith Saryan. The government of Nagorno-Karabakh provided space in a historic building in the heart of the city for the new center. The renovation of this space was made possible by a donation from Karabakh Telecom. The Tumo Center for Creative Technologies (www.tumo.org) is a free of charge after school program that teaches young Armenians the skills they need to succeed in the modern, digital world. The first Tumo center was opened in Yerevan in 2011, with a subsequent center opening in Dilijan in 2013 in partnership with the Central Bank of Armenia. The TUMOxAGBU partnership already opened a center in Gyumri earlier this year with goal of bringing Tumo to more locations throughout Armenia.







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