The Young Grantmakers of Gyumri Help Needy People Celebrate a Happier Christmas

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During December 29-30, 2010, prior to upcoming New Year Celebration and Christmas, the members of the Gyumri Youth Bank together with other volunteers from colleges and NGOs initiated a charity collection of food in local two main supermarkets of the second big city Gyumri to be donated to families in extreme poverty in the town.

Around 40 young volunteers participated in the charity event in Gyumri and they were able to collect food items worth of 250 000 AMD and distributed “Christmas Boxes” to 40 families living in different districts of Gyumri. Local Social Educational Center of the Shirak Diocese assisted the Youth Bankers with distribution of the foods to families in extreme poverty.

The enthusiasm and care demonstrated during the charity event by the young organizers infected many individuals and companies to participate in the charity, among them the “Van” Diary from the neighboring Akhuryan community, which donated food worth of 20000 AMD.

The YB members developed information sheets and distributed to people shopping in the markets. The lists carried an appeal to think about charity and donate for their co-citizens who are deprived of the minimum resources to buy food for holidays. The charity action was a success for young people: they saw the readiness of local people to contribute and took pride for being able to change the gloomy routine of the people in need living in their neighborhoods.

Gyumri Youth Bank members thank all of their co-patriots, individuals and organizations for readily providing food for needy families, their friends and volunteers for joining them in organizing the action and distribution of food to families and the Municipalities for providing the lists of families.
The Youth Bank Program originated in Northern Ireland and has been successfully introduced to numerous communities worldwide as well as in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Supported by different funds, especially the USAID, Jinishyan Memorial Foundation, the Foreign Ministry of Finland, Swedish International Development Agency, the Eurasia Partnership Foundation has been implementing the program in Armenia since 2007. It is a very innovative approach to youth development that creates concrete opportunities for young people to solve local community issues; and builds upon the grant making expertise and the rich civic engagement experience of Eurasia Foundation. More information on EPF’s Youth Bank can be found on EPF’s website

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