Supporting ‘drivers of change’ in ArmeniaPublished: Nov 15, 2021 Reading time: 2 minutes
To help grass-roots organisations, civic initiatives, new and emerging civil society organisations (CSOs), and social and cultural movements in Armenia reach their full potential, People in Need (PIN) is implementing a project funded by the European Union. Called “Civil society actors as drivers of change in South Caucasus and Moldova,” the two-year initiative is supporting 15 local CSOs in Armenia with strategic and organisational capacity development.
Additionally, the project focuses on implementation of operational and campaign grants on the following objectives: systemic change (of policies, attitudes, and behaviours); core constituency development; governance, self-organisation and accountability; community and youth mobilisation, empowerment, and inclusion; and strategic partnerships. Programme CSOs will be encouraged to deepen ties and engage more actively with the private sector through partnerships and coalitions.
MITK youth-educational initiative, a CSO based in the Armavir region of Armenia, is one of the programme beneficiaries. As part of the project, MITK is implementing a “Young Ambassadors of Armavir” campaign to promote civic participation among young people.
“With our partnership with PIN, we were able to improve our media capabilities at the institutional level, as well as improve not only the skillset of our organisation but also the strategic planning process,” said Levon Chukaklyan, the founder of MITK.
Restart Gyumri is another CSO participant; it is implementing a campaign to strengthen the capacities of high school and college students and experience exchange in the Shirak region of Armenia.
“Through this EU- and PIN-supported campaign, Gyumri Restart is supporting high school and college students by encouraging their community civic activism through experience exchange, discussions, seminars, and other meetings,” says Goharik Grigoryan, coordinator at Gyumri Startup. "As a result, more young people are taking part in regional, community, civic, and political life,” Grigoryan says. To build on these gains, experts from Gyumri Startup will soon present a set of recommendations to the heads of local self-government and the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth (MOESY).
Restart Gyumri began as an initiative by a group of Shirak State University students to reform student councils into modern institutions, where all students have a voice and quality education is the focus. It has expanded into a broader movement for affordable, inclusive, modern university education and helps to ensure that students are treated fairly, encouraged to think independently and express themselves freely.
PIN believes that CSOs are the drivers of progress in local communities, and works to build a more resilient civil society sector in the places that we operate. The “Civil society actors as drivers of change in South Caucasus and Moldova” project is funded by the European Union and implemented by People in Need. The regional project launched in 2020 in Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova, and will continue until 2022.