The AYF’s Youth Corps program is an exciting, productive and memorable way for Armenian youth to establish and strengthen ties with the homeland.
Established in 1994 after a cease-fire was signed between Armenia and Azerbaijan that ended the violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the program initially sent Youth Corps volunteers to Nagorno-Karabakh to help rebuild many of the newly independent republic’s war-torn villages.
In 2008, recognizing that there were other ways to directly help the homeland and identifying a different need in Armenia, the program shifted its focus from rebuilding shattered buildings to connecting Armenians in the Diaspora with Armenians in the homeland. With this goal in mind, the AYF decided to organize day camps for children throughout Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. The program has since flourished, expanding to multiple locations and serving hundreds of children every summer.
The Youth Corps program gives young Armenians from the Diaspora a chance to make a direct impact on the lives of some of Armenia’s most impoverished children and families. The camps provide a safe and fun environment for them to build new friendships and acquire new skills. Through this summer camp experience, the children learn about respect, trust, tolerance, diversity and responsibility; all of which are critical in helping them become members of a healthy civil society. The program is just as special for its participants who, as counselors at the day camp, plan the curriculum, teach the classes, lead the activities and create an unbreakable bond with the children and their homeland.
The Youth Corps program is 6 weeks long, with 1 week of touring followed by 5 weeks of volunteer work. During the first week of the program, Youth Corps participants spend time traveling throughout Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, visiting historic sites and connecting with the local natives. The following 5 weeks are spent operating the summer day camp for underprivileged youth in multiple towns across the country.
Before you apply, see our FAQs.
For questions or more information, contact the AYF Office at (818) 507-1933 or AYF@AYFwest.org