Every summer since 2003, AGBU’s Discover Armenia Program has brought together diasporan youth ages 15-18 from around the world for an unforgettable adventure in their ancestral homeland.
Discover Armenia participants engage in various volunteer projects that contribute to local development, for which they receive community service credit at their schools. Volunteer assignments have included building houses for disadvantaged families, visiting local orphanages, and serving hot meals at AGBU’s Senior Dining Centers. At the same time, students have the opportunity to tour the country’s historic sites and enjoy its natural wonders, as well as spend a weekend in Artsakh.
At the end of this three-week experience, participants return home with both friends and memories that will last a lifetime.
If you did all that, then you did an important mission in your life – see yourself in Armenia!
The crystal clear air, the unique cuisine, the charm of Yerevan’s historical and cultural landmarks – one of the oldest cities in the world … All of this was gathered in the eyes and smiles of Monica, Irina Andre and Erika, girls from Plovdiv who were the first participants of AGBU from Bulgaria in the program of AGBU – Discover Armenia.
Three weeks full of impressions, each more colorful and exciting than the other.
We have to mention that in order to participate in these incredible programs of AGBU once again we are must thank two outstanding girls from Plovdiv, who have absorbed the spirit of AGBU from Melkonian College in Cyprus – Hripsime Nourikyan and Sylvia Gelgelyan. For the second time (2013, 2016), they organize a Charity Ball that achieves its goals within just one night, namely to provide funds for children and young people to go to Armenia and feel with their senses the warmth of the Armenian lands and its people. For four years, thanks to the efforts of these girls and the donations from our patriotic compatriots, thirteen children and young people visited Armenia on various programs of AGBU and the Ministry of Diaspora of Armenia – 2013: „AGBU Musical Armenia“ – Anahit Tateosian, Agog Tateosian and Elise Gagosian, 2013: Youth Forum organized by the Ministry of Diaspora to prepare for the 100th anniversary of Armenian genocide worldwide – Krikor Arakelian, 2014: – Scout camp in Dilijan „AGBU Antranik Scout Camp“ – Armine Baudganyan and Sara Saryan, 2014: Yerevan Summer Internship in Yerevan – AGBU YSIP – Lilith Shahinian, 2014 Youth Forum in Echmiadzin – Sarko Sarkisian, 2016: Ari Dun – David Garabedian and Garabed Kazasyan, 2017: AGBU Discover Armenia DAP – Irina Andre Chavushyan, Monika Shishmanyan and Eranuhi Altunyan.
Significant support for these programs to be popular in Bulgaria we receive from our Center in New York – the personal interest of Anita Anserian, AGBU Chapter Programs Director, as well as the Program Director of AGBU Discover Armenia – Hermine Duzian and Vasgen Yacubian, President of AGBU Armenia. Without their support and goodwill, we would not be able to complete the much-desired plans in this destination.
Monika, Irina Andre and Erika excitedly tell about the cabin lift, which leads to the Tatev Monastery, about the ancient history of the Armenian temples in Garnì and Gehart, about the merry and colorful trip to the top of the Aragats Mountains and many more powerful experiences. Strikingly impressed by AGBU’s office in Yerevan, Monica says, „One day I would like to work there.“
Their stories seemed to project a documentary with clear paintings and colorful words, just as only the pure child mind can present.
All three wanted to return to Armenia again, but they had one mandatory condition – to be together again.
The AGBU – Discover Armenia program, which involves children aged 15-18, is aimed at creating strong and unpretentious impressions of young children as they become young adults.
They will never forget those days they spent in Armenia.