YP Yerevan

The AGBU Young Professionals (YP)  are a growing network of YP groups and supporters from around the world who promote the Armenian identity and heritage for young Armenians between the ages of 22 to 40.

Inspiring YPs to get involved and stay involved through an open-door policy, the network has acquired an international reputation for fostering a sense of community and belonging.

The AGBU Young Professionals are the largest Armenian YP network of its kind today.

Making a difference for 15 years, the YP movement began in 1995 with the first group in Los Angeles.

Since then, the network has expanded to include groups in Northern California, Greater New York, Orange County, Lebanon, Philadelphia, Paris, Plovdiv, SofiaBoston, Toronto, London, Yerevan, Austria, BrazilWashington DCBuenos Aires, Montréal, Hamburg, United Arab Emirates, Marseille,and Chicago with partnerships with organizations SIVAM in Moscow and HAIK in Frankfurt.

To join AGBU YP Yerevan group fill out the application form.

 

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THE DWELLERS OF “GRQABATS” ROOM

Little by little we are being carried to the world of Tumanyan magic together with Maral. The walls are covered with Armenian folktale characters; you are surrounded with the picturesque nature of Armenian highlands all around. “It seems like we have created a time machine and are traveling back to childhood,” says Maral Shahverdyan. She is one of the members of AGBU Young professionals Yerevan team that has created the first “Grqabats” reading room for the students of School N196 after Ashot Navasardyan - a reading room as if sliced from a fairy tale.

“We have condensed the missing colors of our childhood in this room,” says Haykaz. He is from Hrazdan and just as his peers, used to dream of these colors in regional schools in the dark 90’s. “If there were a similar classroom in our school I would never leave that room for sure.” Haykaz now remembers the 2-3 month long night-time renovation and art work behind the “fairy tale” with a smile. “Since all of us had jobs, we used to come to the school to do the renovation and painting only after 6pm and stayed there till midnight. Sometimes the children tried to help, but they often created additional work for us. You can see the traces of their scribbles on the walls, we had to draw on them once again."

AGBU Young Professionals is the largest global Armenian network of civic minded and benevolent professionals from around the world, committed to making Armenian communities worldwide thriving, better places to live through educational and cultural programs, enhancement of professional growth, civic involvement and international cooperation.

“There are over 18,000 AGBU Young Professionals throughout the world. The YP Yerevan team joined in 2007. At the moment, there are about 40 volunteers in the YP Yerevan team and they are of great importance to AGBU,” says AGBU Armenia director Talar Kazanjian. “This “Grqabats” initiative fully belongs to them, all the way from its concept to its implementation, all we did was encourage them. This Young Professionals movement strengthens the volunteering spirit. Besides, the young people serve as an example for the little ones by their actions.”

The anchor of any state is the school syste and it becomes even stronger with children who read. AGBU Young Professionals are well aware of this, which is why they have filled the shelves with more than 100 books. The Library of “Grqabats” reading corner of school N196 in Yerevan was put together through a special concert. “We organized a book-raising concert. Folk music was played at the AGBU hall,” tells Isabella Merabova, coordinator of the AGBU YP Yerevan team. “People brought a book instead of a ticket. This is how we built our book collection.”

““Grqabats” does not challenge new technologies. We only wish to preserve the reading culture at school,” says a member of the initiative, Nane Shahverdyan. “We want these children to open the book and discover the world, to be in different countries, even in the universe and places existing only in one’s imagination. We want to broaden their outlook through these reading corners. We want them to read and love books."

This is just the beginning. The volunteers of the project promise that “Grqabats” reading corners will be available in other schools in Yerevan and the regions as well. AGBU Armenia director Talar Kazanjian adds that AGBU’s virtual library is another good source for enriching the reading corner. “Only by synthesizing the modern and traditional can we realize successful projects, raise children’s interest towards books. In this way only is it possible to speak about the future and be innovative without forgetting the old.”

And while other projects are in progress, the 1st to 3rd grade students are lining up for the guests gathered in the fairy tale room. Bundles of books are opened and wishes are expressed. The first reader of “Grqabats” is spokesperson Erik Antaranyan. There will be many readings by YPs accompanied by famous people in this colorful classroom of school N196. This is the launch of a big book campaign indeed.

* Grqabats means open book in Armenian

 

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