Los Angeles–More than 50 Armenian Youth Federation-Western United States members departed for Yerevan Wednesday–making their way to this year’s International Youth Jamboree of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation youth organizations.
More than 650 young Armenia’s are expected to gather in Armenia for two weeks of learning–discovery and exchanges. A number of regions–including both western and eastern United States–Canada–Lebanon–Iran–Syria–Australia–various European countries will be represented at the Jamboree.
The period preceding the departure at Los Angeles International Airport was filled with various activities to raise funds for the trip. The Armenian Youth Federation-Central Executive and numerous local chapters held events and fund-raisers in order to collect the needed amount for participants.
Most recently–the AYF-CE sponsored a dinner-dance featuring Karnig Sarkissian–where more than 400 community members attended and supported the youth’s efforts. Almost $4,000 was raised during the evening.
In addition–local chapters held individual events in various communities. The AYF Burbank "Varak" Chapter earlier this summer held a Foul Breakfast in conjunction with the local Hamazkayin chapter–where all proceeds–including Hamazkayin’s shares were donated to the Jamboree fund. The LaCrescenta "Zartonk" Chapter of the organization held a Blote Tournament–and again all benefits were directed toward the fund.
In addition–AYF members participated in the 22nd Homenetmen Navasartian Games by selling AYF t-shirts at the festival grounds. Throughout the fund-raising period generous community contributions were also received.
Before leaving Los Angeles–Central Executive member Chris Guldjian said–"This is the culmination of months of preparation and anticipation. I think more than the trip itself–AYF members bonded during this experience–because they all worked extremely hard to make a dream for many of us a reality. We will all be visiting our homeland together."
The Jamboree will be held at Lake Sevan–and the last three days of the gathering will take place in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Meroujan Kitsinian explained–"For many of us this is a historic moment–because we will be visiting our homeland for the first time–and for those who have previously been there–the experience awaiting will indeed be special because they will be going through it with their fellow AYF-ers."
The Jamboree group from the Western Region also took with them boxes of learning supplies–including books–as well as other necessities for the children of Armenia.
Further details of the Jamboree will be provided in upcoming issues of Asbarez–as well as upon the return of the participants.