What do you do if you are 16 and do not want to leave the children’s center that was your second home for the past 3-4 years? Vanadzor’s “Shogh” center’s 16 years old teenagers faced this dilemma as they reached age of graduation. They came up with the idea of starting a pilot program, both educational and entertaining, named “Pyunik” (Pyunik is the Armenian name of Phoenix). Among the many activities, the project also includes monthly gatherings of Pyunik members with the staff of the center. During these monthly meetings, the center’s alumni will discuss the many problems, issues and challenges that they face in their lives outside of the center. Another important activity of Pyunik will be provision of help and orientation for career planning and employment. Team leaders will also support these teenagers to apply for local and international exchange programs. The participants are going to have their corner in the center, where they will post their achievements, to inspire and encourage the children of the center.
“Pyunik” program participants’ first meeting with “Shogh” center’s staff
And the first news is already here. In May ten participants of the program visited Cafesjian Art Center of Yerevan. Children were all very excited because they had paid their first visit to the museum.
Pyunik program’s coordinator with the participants in Cafesjian Art Center
The Vanadzor “Shogh” children’s center is a joint program of the Tufenkian Foundation and the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA).