In May, Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) in Armenia brought together twenty young people from Gyumri, Vanadzor, Charencavan, Martuni and Sisian for a workshop on managing community development programs. The workshop was the fourth in EPF’s Youth Bank program. Participants improved their program management skills and learned from EPF consultants and each other.
The workshop mainly addressed monitoring and fundraising topics related to community grant making. Participants also shared their experiences in their Youth Bank committees. The two-day training focused on team work, effective group working styles, critical thinking skills, making fair judgments and speaking your mind.
“Along with all the fun we are having each time we get together, [the workshops are] also very serious. Only now do we fully realize how much we can learn about the experience of project monitoring, and what a responsible and important job we have started,” said Elena Asryan, a Youth Bank committee member from Vanadzor.
Each of Armenia’s four Youth Bank committees has awarded grants to four or five small projects in their communities. Youth Banks prioritized funding to projects submitted by other young people. The Youth Bank program gives groups of young people ages 18-25 a chance to contribute to the development of their communities by making tangible improvements in remote, often neglected areas through direct action, combining volunteerism and grant-making. The idea originated with the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, and EPF began using it in the South Caucasus to bring young people closer to their communities.
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