LOS ANGELES–Twelve young Armenian Americans left for the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh Monday–beginning this year’s Armenian Youth Federation Youth Corps mission.
The Youth Corps program–established in 1994–has become a successful annual event–where a select number of interested youth from the United States and Canada have travelled to various villages in Karabakh to help in reconstruction activities as well as to get a first hand education of more than 3000 years of history.
This year the group will once again go to the village of Ashan–in the region of Mardouni–to help in the reconstruction efforts of the old village school which they are hoping to change into a summer camp for the children of the war-torn area.
They will stay in Ashan for several weeks–after which they will travel to Yerevan to join hundreds of young Armenia’s for this year’s AYF Youth Jamboree–representing the Western Region of the US with more than 40 individuals.
This year’s participants include Tro Chekijian from Rose and Alex Pilibos–Christopher Guzel and Lory Khajadorian from Holy Martyrs Ferrahian–Ani Minassian from Mesrobian Armenian schools–as well as Shooshig Avakian–Maral Der Megerdichian–Sevag Garabedian–Bedros Kawharjian–Hampo Khatchadourian–Nada Reyyes–Sebouh Serabian and Dzia Vartabedian.
Vartabedian said before departing from Los Angeles International Airport–"This is my fourth year in the program–and everytime I have travelled to Karabakh I’ve come back with incredible memories and expereinces which I know are unique to our homeland.
"The AYF Youth Corps program is an unparalleled opportunity for us Diasporan youth to understand and live what we have only heard and read about in books and stories," concluded the participant.