Diaspora Youth Ambassador 2021 program: Online closing ceremony
30 May 2022
On May 30, the 2021 Diaspora Youth Ambassador program of the Office of the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs of the Republic of Armenia celebrated the online closing ceremony for its first group cohort. Funded by the Jinishian Memorial Foundation, the program was attended by 16 young Diaspora Armenians from 20 countries who underwent two weeks of intensive training in Armenia and Artsakh to expand their views on political, social, economic, educational, and other issues, and learn about programs and opportunities in the Homeland.
Throughout the rest of the year, participants will be conducting the following activities in their countries of residence: community meetings, inter-community experience exchange activities, content generation and informative activities related to the Office and other Armenian programs on social platforms and media.
The closing ceremony was attended by the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Zareh Sinanyan, Program Manager Greta Mnatsakanyan, Jinishian Memorial Foundation Health Program Coordinator Zara Janibekyan, program participants and employees of the Office of the High Commissioner.
In his welcoming speech, the High Commissioner expressed his gratitude to the Diaspora Youth Ambassadors for their work. "We started the program in difficult conditions, and I know that many of you also faced difficulties in your communities during the second round of the program. It was the first year of the Diaspora Youth Ambassador program and I hope that you will continue cooperating with our Office and continuing your work in your communities," noted Zareh Sinanyan.
At the same time, Health Program Coordinator of the Jinishian Memorial Foundation Zara Janibekyan is confident that the interaction with the ambassadors will indeed be a long-lasting one, which will be the key to the success of the program.
Program Manager Greta Mnatsakanyan summed up the results of the work with the communities. "Among the achievements of the program, we can highlight the resilience of participants to face challenges, the implementation of knowledge and skills acquired during the program and the recognition of talent and understanding the needs of each community, while also integrating the senior generation in community events. The constant flow of communication with our Office, the social media impact, the synergy between participants and the resulting outputs, lead to many other positive outcomes as well.
If we summarize all the actions conducted by our participants, we get the following overview: 121 community and repatriation meetings, 538 social media publications and 30 media presentations, the opening of a cultural and educational center, 1 video-film production, 2 financial aid initiatives, 6 networking activities, 10 initiatives to protect Armenian identity, 2 community surveys and work on the Diaspora Youth Policy document."
Greta Mnatsakanyan stressed that the relationship with the Youth Ambassadors, the periodic meetings and interactions will continue. The network of the Diaspora Youth Ambassador program will be more impactful thanks to new participants and joint events that will be carried out, the involvement of new ambassadors and activities will also continue on the development of a Diaspora Youth Policy document etc.
Program Coordinator Karin Yacoubian, Head of Media Department of the Office Amalya Karapetyan and Head of Repatriation Department Hovhannes Aleksanyan also participated in the online closing ceremony.
Then Sweden’s Diaspora Youth Ambassador Inesa Rubinyan made a speech on behalf of the Diaspora Youth Ambassadors. "Many of us realized that when working with the Diaspora, we should try to work with everyone without exception, regardless of profession, organizations, religious or political affiliations. Based on that conviction, many of us did their best in this short period of time to further strengthen the Diaspora-Armenia-Artsakh ties. We are convinced that it is impossible to work together without respect for each other's differences. For months we encouraged each other to move forward" she said.
The Diaspora Youth Ambassadors also noted that working with a complex and diverse Diaspora reminds them that their goals are the same and the difference is mainly based on the approach to achieving these goals. According to the Youth Ambassadors, another important lesson is to show flexibility in work, which is an important component of their success and cooperation.
"We would like to thank once again all the staff of the Office of the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, who provided us with this exceptional opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of our communities," expressed the Diaspora Youth Ambassadors.
Don’t forget that applications for the 2022 Diaspora Youth Ambassador program ("Training of young leaders of Diaspora") are accepted until July 1. Click here to submit your application.