By Ararat Alikhanyan
04-12-2018
Youth capacity-building is a priority
The Ijevan Branch of Yerevan State University introduced students to the new Young People: Partners of Local Self-Government Bodies Project, which is being carried out by the Ijevan Office of World Vision Armenia, in partnership with the Municipality of Ijevan.

The project was made possible through the EU4Youth: Better Skills for Better Future regional project. Before the presentation, the project implementers had met with Director of the Branch Artak Tsutsulyan and Assistant to the Director Arman Yeganyan to present the project. The four-month project was introduced to the students by Youth Programs Coordinator of WVA Tavush Region Ararat Alikhanyan. Through this project, nearly 15 young people will build their capacities and receive knowledge about the mechanisms for successful cooperation of roleplayers in the fields of advocacy, identification of needs, conduct of surveys, design and implementation of community projects and in decision-making processes.

The problem is that youth participation in the decision-making processes of local self-government bodies (LSGs) is at a low level, and the results of an online survey on facebook.com also serve as evidence of this. Based on the results, 41.3% say youth neither participate in nor attach importance to their role in decision-making processes at the community level since they are not aware of the activities of LSGs, while 29.3% find that youth lack capacities and the necessary knowledge to cooperate with LSGs and carry out civic initiatives. The main problem is the youth’s lack of awareness about the activities of LSGs.

Alikhanyan also stated that, through the project, the participants will receive necessary skills and knowledge about the identification of community-related and civic issues and the development of strategies for the solution to those issues, will work with the Council of Elders and will develop a package of recommendations to be submitted to the Municipality of Ijevan for the purpose of financing youth initiatives under the community budget of Ijevan.

The project also complies with the strategy on the state youth policy of the Republic of Armenia enshrining the factor of youth participation at the social, civic and other levels as a priority. Among the main goals of the 2017-21 Ijevan Community Development Plan are to revitalize residents’ participation in local-self governance through the introduction and gradual development of new methods and forms of participation, and the project is in compliance with this as well.

Trainings for capacity-building for the group to be formed will begin soon.

The EU4Youth: Better Skills for Better Future regional project (2018-20) is a EU-funded project being carried out in three countries, including Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine. The project in Armenia is being implemented by Save the Children Armenia Country Office, in partnership with OxYGen Foundation for Protection of Youth and Women Rights.