TBILISI, Georgia—A youth leadership training program in the Armenian community of Georgia, attended by a number of notable guests and speakers, came to a conclusion on Friday, July 19. The program was initiated by the “Hayartun” Cultural Center of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, with financial support from the Republic of Armenia’s Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, the Ministry of the Diaspora, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
32 young representatives of the Armenian community from Tbilisi and various regions of Georgia participated in the program. With the blessings of the Head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Caucasus Bishop Guiseppe Pazotto, the program was held in a country estate of the Roman Catholic Church in Tserovani, a housing settlement for internally displaced people, thirty minutes from Tbilisi in the Mtskheta region.
During the youth program, participants got an opportunity to learn about a plethora of subjects regarding the Armenian people and the Armenian community of Georgia from notable lecturers. Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanian, Head of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, presented an educational lecture on the history of the Armenian people and the Armenian Church. Levon Chidilian, the coordinator of the “Hayartun” Cultural Center, gave a presentation on historical and cultural Armenian sites and monuments in Tbilisi. Milena Oganesian, a Ph.D. student at Montana State University and a lecturer at the University of Georgia, taught civic education. Levon Isakhanian, head of the legal department of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, gave a lecture about the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, while Nelson Petrosian, the representative of Grant Thornton in Georgia, spoke to the youth about leadership in modern society.
The Ambassador of Armenia to Georgia, Hovhannes Manoukian, State Minister for Reintegration Issues of Georgia, Paata Zakareishvili, Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia Tamar Kintsurashvili, First Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and Civil Integration Gedevan Popkhadze, Deputy Chairman of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee Ruslan Poghosyan, Head of the Tolerance Centre at the Public Defender’s Office, Beka Mindiashvili, and Professor Richard Hovannisian from the University of California, Los Angeles also participated in the program as invited guests.
The young participants received their course completion certificates after visiting the Tbilisi Pantheon of Armenian Writers and Public Figures, also known simply as Khojivank, and planted a tree there. Before the conclusion of the youth training program, the Armenian youth visited the “Hayartun” Center and offered prayers in Tbilisi’s Surb Etchmiadzin Church.