GLENDALE–The Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Youth Corps Council has accepted its final applicants for the 2003 AYF Youth Corps program. Over fifteen youth will travel to the war-torn areas of the Mountainous Karabagh Republic to help rebuild destroyed churches–schools–and youth camps. The youth–who depart on July 12–will live with the people of Karabagh and will spend time with those who fought in the war.
During the war in Karabagh that lasted from 1988-1994–AYF members spent countless hours gathering medical aid–raising funds–and providing moral support to the people of the region. While talks for a cease-fire were taking place–AYF sent its representatives to the volatile areas to investigate the possibility of providing assistance in post-war reconstruction.
In July 1994–AYF launched the Youth Corps program. Since then–over 100 youth have spent a month in Karabagh helping rebuild what was destroyed.
"I will not believe we are going till I get there," said one of the volunteers Babken Der Grigorian. He added that despite the fact that he has visited Armenia twice before–this trip will be different because it will be a spiritual one embodying all dimensions of servitude.
The other volunteers for this year’s program are John Ekparian–Mary Berberian–Sero Kassabian–Siamanto Maronian–Armen Postoyan–Nora Arin Postoyan–Tamar Yardemian–Raffy Birindjian–Garena Melikian–Talar Chekherdimian–Serouj Aprahamian–Garoon Gharakhanian–Tro Tchekidjian and Dikran Chekian.