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International Youth Program “Open your eyes”

Yeghvard Armenia 3From April 27 to May 4 the international youth program "Open your eyes" was held and was attended by 28 young people aged between 16 and 30, from Armenia, Latvia, Georgia, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Germany. The project has been implemented by the youth ecological NGO Yeghvard in cooperation with the NGO Federation of Youth Clubs of Armenia (FYCA) and the public environmental information Yeghvard Aarhus center. The activity was included in the framework of the Youth in Action programme of the European Union.

The main goal of the program was to support young people from European countries to learn about the picturesque landmarks of Armenia and to contribute to the development of creative thinking. The program enabled young people to learn and get informed about the monuments, interesting places and wonders of nature of one of the world's oldest countries.Yeghvard Armenia 1

During the first two days of the seminar the speakers presented information about the natural monuments and picturesque nature of Armenia (for instance, about Aghveran, Hankavan, Garni, Aghavnadzorad Ashtarak) through non-formal learning methods. The participants also had the opportunity to learn about the secrets of photography – basic rules, peculiarities of photographing, photographic camera, etc.

Yeghvard Armenia 2After the training, the participants visited Garni, Aghavnadzor, Hankavan, Ashtarak, Aghavnadzor. Additionally, they had the opportunity to visit Tsakhkadzor, Lake Sevan and KhorVirap, as well as get familiar with the history of these places and peculiarities of the nature, to photograph the sights and wonderful landscapes of nature.

The program was full of positive energy, amazing impressions, discussions, group activities, intercultural evenings, visits, games and, of course, wonderful photos. The participants prepared a calendar for 2015 with the photos they made. All calendars in the closing ceremony of the program were handed over to the participants and the organizations they represented as a result of the program.Yeghvard Armenia 4

According to the organizers, the program was successful and it exceeded all expectations. It also contributed to the development of tourism, particularly the ecotourism, thus becoming a small model of tourism development presented by the young people. The participants left Armenia with the expectation of return.

Ruzanna Manyan

Yeghvard, Armenia