Well actually the journey began over 17 years ago in 1994 when a group of impassioned and visionary AYF members created the Youth Corps program to gather young diasporan Armenians to travel to villages in newly-liberated Artsakh to do modest, but meaningful rebuilding work hand-in-hand with our sisters and brothers there.
This is the same program that has evolved into Youth Corps today. Working to provide diasporans an opportunity to see our homeland…not as tourists. To better understand the daily lives of our people and to better understand the reality that is our country, with the eventual goal of seeing Armenia as a home..not just a postcard.
For me the journey didn’t begin tonight.. It began years ago, starting with a love for Armenia that developed well before I had the chance to meet her. That led me to work with the AYF Youth Corps program..one of the most meaningful and tangible ways i have seen to build and strengthen the bridge between the Republic of Armenia and the diaspora.
The results that our program has shown in the last three years have spoke for themselves and have led to the 2011 group being the biggest group to ever participate.
You will hear stories from 25 people. You will feel their experiences. You will smile when then do. You will be frustrated when they are. And my hope is that you, along with our group, see that our future as a people depends on our people’s genuine care for our country. A care that leads past talk..
Monday I will be in Armenia setting up some final logistics for our participants. And soon 25 of them will arrive as well.
You are a part of their experience.