AGBU YEREVAN SUMMER INTERN PROGRAM 2009 WAS A GREAT SUCCESS

Like the two previous ones, the third season of AGBU Yerevan Summer Intern Program was also a great success. With a goal of connecting the Diasporan youth to Armenia, helping them to learn more about their homeland and to get actively involved in its life, the Yerevan Summer Intern Program broadens its geography every year. 25 Diasporan youths from Canada, Israel, Russia, Syria, Switzerland and the United States of America spent a whole month, from June 27 to August 1, in Armenia, working as interns in a number of premier institutions and organizations of the country including the Medical University Hospital, HSBC Bank Armenia, United Nations Organization, Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS), Ameria Bank, RA Ombudsman’s Office, Golden Apricot International Film Festival, Deem Communications, American Bar Association/CEELI, The Future is Yours NGO, Ministry of Diaspora, Academy for Educational Development, Armenbrok company, AUA Public Health Research Center, Ter Tajatian Law Firm, Karagouzian Children’s Clinic, #2 Neurology Hospital. This was a month of cultural enrichment and exchange of professional experience. Thanks to this program the Diasporan youths interact with their peers in Armenia and feel the reality of statehood in their homeland. Besides exchange of experience the interns also participated in a number of educational and cultural events attending also Armenian language, history and folk dance classes. The program was rich with visits to the cultural and historical monuments of Armenia and Artsakh and to the AGBU programs implemented there. During their visit to Artsakh the YSIP participants had a meeting with NKR Parliament Speaker Ashot Ghulyan with whom they discussed Armenia-Diaspora relations and the role of youth in these relations. On July 25, the YSIP participants were welcomed at the AGBU “Antranik” scout camp in Lori region for the unforgettable fire ceremony. Especially for the YSIP participants AGBU Armenian Representation Director Ashot Ghazarian presented the wide range of AGBU activities in Armenia in pre-Soviet and Soviet eras and after the independence. The AGBU YSIP 2009 was managed by Anna Aghajanian, YSIP Coordinator and Aleen Tovmasian, YSIP Activities Coordinator. Sharing her thoughts YSIP participant Anna Abalyan from US said, “During my first day at my internship all my co-workers were extremely welcoming. I was shocked when I was told that the company has a cook who prepares lunch everyday. During lunch I was surprised by how close my co-workers were. They seemed to know so much about each other and they genuinely cared about each other’s lives. Of the jobs I have held in the states I was never so close with any of my co-workers, but here I felt like I was part of a family not just a company”. “Make the most of each day that life has to offer. Have an open mind and an open heart and be willing and flexible enough to assimilate into another culture, which in this case is actually your own”, another YSIP participant Danielle Hartounian said. Nanor Balabanian from Lebanon wrote, “I learned the importance of self-confidence, patience, forgiveness, kindness, perseverance, friendship, respect and pride in Armenian Identity”.

 
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