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For the third consecutive year French Simon Londre, has participated in the UGAB Jeunes’ (AGBU Youth of France) Arménie, Terre de Vie (Armenia, Land of Life) project. He spent his third summer in Armenia, helping to carry out a number of voluntary projects. This time he participated in the program as a veteran and was entrusted to lead this year’s Arménie, Terre de Vie team. We met Simon in the AGBU Yerevan office. In answer to our “bonjour”, we heard his “µ³ñ¨” in wonderfully pronounced Armenian. He was a little tired, but very happy. He came to the office directly from the construction site. Simon’s third visit to Armenia was a turning point for him. Being a son of catholic Jewish parents, Simon decided to be baptized in the Armenian church.

“I found a spiritual aura here, in Armenia, which I think every faith should have. I have never noticed such a thing in France. Church is not just a place for prayer for Armenians”, said Simon. The holy christening had taken place the day before at the Geghard Monastery. Simon was christened and received his new holy name: Azat, and in his own words he felt much freer. Before leaving AGBU he said “goodbye” to everyone in Armenian.

Arménie, Terre de Vie by AGBU Youth, France takes place once every two years. The first two programs took place in 2011 and 2013 respectively, during which, the program participants volunteered their time and service in construction, education, environmental and health programs around Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh (NKR), including the renovation of a two-storey Berdzor Youth Center in Artsakh, the partial renovation of AGBU and Mother See’s Malatya Children’s Center, solving part of the water supply and heating system issues, etc.
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