Over 150 students from grades nine to twelve gathered at Pilibos Armenian School’s gymnasium on Friday, May 4th to hear a presentation about AYF’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign and its ongoing efforts to deliver vital treatments to wounded Artsakh War veterans. The event marked the end of the Hye Tahd month that is traditionally held at the school in April with the goal of raising awareness and activism levels on campus.
During the 45-minute presentation, students were informed about the historical background of the Artsakh Liberation movement and its implications for Hye Tahd and our people’s quest for justice. David Arakelyan, speaking on behalf of the ‘With Our Soldiers’ task force, discussed the reasons for the launch of the campaign and spoke about the variety of health issues faced by freedom fighters in Armenia. A number of videos featuring veterans who had received assistance from the campaign were shown and were received with great enthusiasm by the students.
“We thought that hosting a presentation about the work that the AYF does for our veterans in Armenia and Artsakh would be a great way to end our Hye Tahd month,” said Natalie Bezdjian, a member of Pilibos’ Parent Hye Tahd committee. “This is a really important initiative, and we hope that the information shared today will inspire our students to learn more about our past and our people’s struggle.”
Throughout the course of the presentation, the students were asked to answer questions based on the content of the videos and their general knowledge of Armenian history and the Artsakh movement. Those who were able to give correct responses received gifts in the form of various campaign materials, including Roger Kupelian’s “Dark Forest in the Mountains” DVD and the ‘Always Faithful’ campaign T-shirts.
“These presentations and community lectures are a part of our effort to increase awareness about this campaign and inform as many people as possible about the impact it is having on the lives of our freedom fighters in the Homeland,” said David Arakelyan. “We place a special emphasis on making sure that our youth are both aware of and engaged in these kinds of initiatives, since the nation depends on them to lead our struggle forward.”
The ‘With Our Soldiers’ task force remains committed to sharing information on the progress of the campaign with the community, and will continue its efforts to host similar events in the future with various community organizations, schools, and youth groups.
Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization in the United States, working to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of Armenian-American youth.