Every year, the Armenian Chess Federation and the Republic of Armenia’s Education and Science Ministry, hold the Republican Interschool Chess Tournament sponsored by AGBU. Schoolchildren from all regions of Armenia, as well as Artsakh and Javakhk compete to win. Every year, around 5,000 children participate in the tournament. They go through four challen-ging rounds before receiving their titles. The first phase is held within schools; in the second phase, schools from the same community compete; in the third phase, winners of different communities from the same region participate; and, lastly, the finalists arrive at the national level. 





Another season of AGBU’s Summer Internship Program in Yerevan has now been completed. Program participants left with stronger ties with their homeland and bright memories of days spent in Armenia. Twenty-eight Diaspora-Armenian youths from five countries, Germany, Lebanon, Syria, UK and USA, spent 6 weeks in Armenia, living like local Armenians - off to work in the morning, taking courses in Armenian language and Armenian folk dance, participating in interesting meetings and conversations with their peers, and sightseeing tours at weekends. The companies and organizations that hosted this year’s AGBU interns include RA Diaspora Ministry, UN Development Program, Grand Thornton, American University of Armenia, National Gallery of Armenia, Center for Innovative Experimental Art (NPAK), TUMO Center for Creative Technologies, Deem Communications, Women’s Resource Center, Future is Yours” NGO, “Arabkir” Children’s Medical Center, “Vitamax” pharmaceutical company, and the #1 hospital of Yerevan. AGBU’s summer internship program in Yerevan provides a unique opportunity for the Diaspora youth to gain professional experience, gain a deeper understanding of their identity and roots, enrich their cultural and national heritage and contribute towards the improvement of life in Armenia. As part of the program the group visited Artsakh, got acquainted with the history and cultural monuments of Artsakh and were received by the Chairman of the NKR Parliament Ashot Ghulyan. Upon their return to Yerevan YSIP participants were also given the opportunity to meet with RA Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan and RA Diaspora Minister Hranoush Hakobyan, listen to their plans and raise their own concerns.



AGBU’s “Discover Armenia” program is one of the oldest summer youth programs delivered by the Union in Armenia. During the past nine years over 250 young Diasporans from 20 countries participated in the program. This year marked the 9th season of the “Discover Armenia” youth trip and brought another 31 youths from eight countries (Belgium, Canada, Dubai, France, Russia, UK, USA and Reunion island), to Armenia. The program includes sightseeing trips, cultural events, meetings with state officials and public figures. The two key components of “Discover Armenia” are active involvement in community service and the trip to Artsakh. For the sixth year in a row Discover Armenia together with Fuller Armenia lent a helping hand to needy families across Armenia helping them to construct their homes. This year support was offered to the village of Verin Baz-maberd in the Aragatsotn region of Armenia. The grateful Khachatryan family received help to complete the construction of their house which had been started in the 90’s but left unfinished due to lack of finances. As part of their community activities the group also visited the children at the “Trchunyan orphanage” in Gyumri and the pensioners at the Arabkir Senior Dining Center of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and AGBU.





Five years ago, in 2008, AGBU launched the scout movement in Armenia. Initially consisting of only several members, today the AGBU Yerevan Scout Movement has over 150 members. In the summer of the same year AGBU held its first “Antranik” scout camp in its private campsite in Lermonto village of Armenia’s Lori region. Over the past five years more than 1,500 scouts from all over the world have participated in the “Antranik” scout camp. The 5th jubilee AGBU “Antranik” scout camp opened its doors to about 200 scouts from Lebanon, Syria, Georgia, Armenia and Artsakh on July 2 with the traditional flag ceremony. The day at the camp starts with morning exercises and the flag ceremony, continues with breakfast, cleaning, hikes, lectures, games and discussions, and then an evening supper, dancing and singing around the fire, followed by the evening flag ceremony. Camp days are also filled with sightseeing, meetings with different state officials and public figures, as well as visits to the AGBU programs in Armenia. During their stay in Armenia the scouts visited Etchmiadzin, Haghartsin, Goshavank, Garni, Geghard, Sardarapat, Gyumri, Matenadaran, Tsitsernakabert, went on hiking trips to Dsegh, Margahovit and Lake Gosh. This annual scout gathering is an excellent opportunity for the scouts to explore Armenia's beautiful nature, visit its landmarks, learn scout-craft, volunteer their time for community service projects, and form friendships with other youngsters, preparing and sharing the everyday meal, supporting each other, and gathering around the camp fire in the evening to share experiences.


On April 24, members of the Armenian General Benevolent Union Yerevan Scout movement, AGBU Young Professionals Yerevan team, AGBU and Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin Youth Center children and teachers, AGBU Armenia members, AGBU Armenian Representation staff visited Tsitsernakabert to pay tribute to the 1.5 million innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide and lay a wreath at the eternal fire to honor their memory.

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