This week we shine the spotlight on gE4Yerevan. We spoke to their project leader, Gev Harutyunyan, about their impressive work this year and what to expect for 2020.
Gev spoke very fondly about the beginning of his garagErasmus story; “the day I became part of garagErasmus is very crucial to me; it opened up many opportunities. I soon realised there is a long way ahead with gE.” Gev was a finalist in the first edition of the Laissez-Passer. Although his proposal did not win, he was encouraged to establish the first gECity beyond EU borders and aim to implement his project anyway.
gE4Yerevan’s primary mission is to empower youths to achieve new professional and educational heights. They support young people by providing the necessary information about professional, cultural and educational development opportunities on both local and international scales.
This project, the Edu VanHub, was inspired by what Gev noticed during a separate outreach project carried out across rural Armenia. “I found out that young people living in rural areas are pretty much isolated; they are unaware of many opportunities which exist in education, art and culture” he explained. On returning home, Gev was determined to transform this bleak reality and, so, the Edu VanHub was born.
During the pilot phase of the project, 20 media workshops were conducted across 10 villages in rural Armenia. These workshops allow gE4 Yerevan to raise awareness of the mobility opportunities available and teach new skills. The results have been fantastic: seven participants now create video blogs; four were able to access a photography course for free; four now write media articles; and two have volunteered in gE4 Yerevan’s partner organisations. Now, they also work online to maintain contact with those they have met and update them on new opportunities.
In order to disseminate the vision, story and ideology of the Edu VanHub, gE4 Yerevan have so far travelled to six European countries. Now, gE4 Yerevan are implementing the Edu VanHub international phase in Ukraine; “We are super motivated to continue expanding the scale of the Edu VanHub project. The source of our motivation is the constant stream of positive feedback we receive from participants, parents, local authorities and the media.” They also plan to get involved in Erasmus+ youth exchange and ESC projects in the future.
Excellent work gE4 Yerevan! We wish you the best of luck for 2020!