My name is Jan and I come from Slovakia. Before coming to Armenia, I had just obtained my Bachelor degree in Psychology in my home country. So I decided to take a break in my studies and change my actions from learning to doing something more practical and getting more real experiences. As I love travelling and meeting different cultures. Therefore, volunteering through EVS (European Voluntary Service) at KASA Swiss Humanitarian Foundation seemed to be a great opportunity in changing my living for some period of time.
Since I came to Armenia, many people asked me why I chose Armenia as a place of my volunteering service. And to be honest, it was because I knew almost nothing about Armenia. So I considered it as a good opportunity to explore a place, which was unfamiliar to me. I started collecting information about Armenia, its culture, traditions, and got really interested in the country. And there were two (for me) important factors that helped to made up my mind; firstly, hiking is possible almost everywhere, and hitch-hiking is strawberry raspberry (jahoda malina – Slovak way of describing something as an easy job :D). So doing something helpful for the Armenian society while volunteering and spending good time in the region while engaging myself with my beloved hobbies seemed to be as a good choice. Continue reading EVS in Armenia: From learning to experience
On 21st October the English club of “Young Citizens of Armenia” project hosted Andre Simonian, the lead singer and founder of The Beautified Project to share his knowledge and experience in “Art for Social Change”. Andre had a lively discussion with the participants in a very warm and friendly atmosphere. Andre was sharing interesting stories and ideas on how the people in art, and in general, can raise social awareness and make a social change. Below I would like to share some of the highlights of the meeting and my own feelings about it.
The Beautified Project is a band which is concerned about various social issues: environment, domestic violence, logging, diabetic children. They are often organizing concerts using their music as a tool to make a social change. According to Andre organizing concerts is a good way to involve the media in the issue. Andre spoke about the environmental situation as well. He referred to the mining issue, as well as the New Year and Christmas celebrations in Armenia which bring to deforestation of firs resulting in the latter being so cruelly cut and used as Christmas trees. Many people cut those trees to make their children happy at Christmas time while this causes a critical damage to the environment and to their children subsequently. We all know that “If there’s a problem, there is a solution”. Continue reading Art for Social Change