You say “global lock-down”, we answer “online volunteering”. Together with our team, we brainstormed a lot, thinking "how can we make an impact on Armenia's development if the borders are closed?". We were not sure if people would be interested in volunteering in Armenia without physically being here, but the impact has been worth the risk. Today, more than 40 volunteers from all over the world are working remotely with Armenian organizations — until they’re able to come to Armenia. The amazing feedback they've received from their jobsites is yet further proof that distance doesn't matter if one wants to make an impact.
Currently, we have two volunteers working with Dilijan Community Center (we usually struggle to send volunteers there as it is far from our main locations). The program coordinator tells us that Ashod Bzdigian (Chile) "creates interactive games for the students; the number of participants keeps rising." While Roubina Alabashian (Lebanon) "is very dedicated and even found a new contact who’ll help with our website," notes the coordinator.
"We had more than 80 applicants."
Passionate about research, Reno Rodriguez (USA) is working with Orbeli Research Center. His supervisor who is also the deputy head of International Relations, says that “[Reno] is a very responsible volunteer, does all the tasks assigned and has also presented an outline for and started working on a new research project.”. Mariam Misakyan (Austria) is also conducting research as a part of her volunteering at Gradarak. Her supervisor, states that "Mariam has given constructive feedback regarding Gradarak’s SMM strategy."
The online volunteers also foster the success of the daily operations of their jobsites. Avadis Markarian (Syria/Lebanon) is working with Uniting Bridge Social non-governmental organization in Oshakan. "He has his program ready for the Entrepreneurship Summer Program he initiated. We had more than 80 applicants." says the founder of the NGO. Meanwhile, Anahid Simitian (Brazil) "has a very professional approach to the work--always on time with work and follow-ups every week," states the co-founder of Historic Armenian Houses in Gyumri, noting with regret that it's just too bad that she was not able to have the experience in person.
"What's your scale? She gets the top rate from us on all ratings." Yes! Elen Hekoyan (Ukraine), another online volunteer, is working with EGO Young Psychologists NGO, and doing an incredible job at her jobsite. Her supervisor also adds "we are very very happy with her. The kids love her and are looking forward to sessions with her."