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Interview for the STEP blog - Zaruhi Stepanyan (Armenia)

Chairperson of Youth and Environment Europe, Chief Specialist at International Cooperation Division of Public Services Regulatory Commission of the Republic of Armenia

Member of Khazer Ecological and Cultural NGO. The NGO was established in 1991. It is a public, non-governmental organization, whose founders, members and participants are united by a common idea. This idea is the preservation and restoration of national traditions, customs and, in general, spiritual heritage.

How do you, as an individual, participate in the life of your community?

I am active youth worker for already 8 years. During this time I have been working in many organizations on different issues, including youth participation. I was trying to advocate for youngsters to be more involved in decision- and policy-making process through Khazer NGO and through YEE when I was representing the organization at World Conference on Youth and working on the Youth Participation chapter of Colombo Declaration. At the same time I myself try to be an active citizen by participating election, various surveys, signing petitions, etc.

Which environmental topic interests you the most and in which way(s) do you take action for it?

During those years the main environmental topic I was working on was pollution and waste management. We organized many projects and activities which were directed to raise awareness of people about waste management, e.g. by organizing lectures, session on workshops about up-cycling. We also published different brochures which are available in Armenia.

Are you familiar with the topic of e-participation? For which reason(s) would you see e-participation useful for young people?

I knew about e-participation for many years, however, got more familiar with it when YEE joined STEP project. I think that e-participation is one of the most productive ways to foster youth participation and in case of those tools are used smartly it can really have a great impact nowadays - when many young people are active and are connected on digital level.