Kyle’s Journey in Armenia

Just Another Peace Corps Blog

Other Projects

Computer Camp
My NGO, Yerevak, and I recently hosted a computer camp in Noyemberyan for 12 8th-10th form students. The camp was a great success, as we studied how computers work, how to effectively use the internet, and how to build websites. The week culminated in a professional speaker from Yerevan and the students presenting their web pages on the internet.

The project was very helpful, not just by teaching students new computer skills, but by getting them involved over their usually latent summer vacations and to explore different professions which will be valuable to Armenia’s development. Several students have expressed interest in continuing the courses independently and Yerevak plans to conduct a similar camp next summer.

Computer Camp participants

Women’s Day Essay Contest
I was the Peace Corps liaison for the 4th annual Women’s Day Essay Contest, which was principally coordinated by the Center for the Development of Civil Society NGO in Yerevan. I was responsible for advertising the essay contest to all Peace Corps volunteers through a variety of means, collecting the essays and helping with the awards ceremony. I was also involved in the fundraising efforts and helped to secure funding for the project from OSCE in Yerevan. I worked with other volunteers to write the essay questions for the contest, and also helped with grant writing, project planning, and budgeting.

The project was once again successful this year. Because of the continuing interest of the NGO to implement this project without the aid of outside organizations, they handled most of the budgeting, facilities rental, and program coordination with minimal assistance from Peace Corps. The NGO is becoming increasingly independent and produced a strong, fully-funded contest this year. There were 25 schools involved from 9 regions in Armenia, and over 150 essays were received. The results of the contest and the awards ceremony, including recognition of Peace Corps involvement, were featured on several local television stations and newspapers. Peace Corps’ Program and Training Manager Jason Compy also spoke at the ceremony, providing further publicity for the program and Peace Corps. An article on local students and Peace Corps involvement was published in a Noyemberyan newspaper.

Writing Olympics award ceremony

International English Writing Olympics
Together with other PCVs from my site, we held a local English Writing Olympics for 6th-10th form students in Noyemberyan and Koghb. The program was part of a larger project sponsored by Peace Corps Volunteers in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. 30 students gathered on a Sunday morning in April to write a creative essay in English about one of many pre-selected topics. Three winners from each form were selected to go to the national contest. An awards ceremony was held in late April for all students who participated, along with their teachers and local school directors.

Several students were very excited about the contest and the opportunity to write in English for a national contest. Many students and teachers have expressed interest in participating next year, and one teacher has expressed interest in coordinating the event to make it a sustainable activity. An article on the essay and students/volunteers involved was also published in a local Noyemberyan newspaper.

The views expressed herein are the views of the author and do not express those of Peace Corps Armenia or the United States government.