SAN FRANCISCO, CA- Many Armenian youth living in the diaspora struggle to stay current with the daily issues occurring in Armenia. On February 11th, the Armenian Youth Federations San Francisco “Rosdom” Chapter, held a Youth Corps Fundraiser at Saint Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church. AYF Youth Corps is a six week summer program, which allows diasporan Armenians to establish a lifelong bond with their motherland and to help strengthen their homeland. The program consists of five weeks of volunteering at the day camps and a week of touring. There are also several excursions and activities that take place during the entire program.
The event was held in the church hall after church service. AYF member, Armen Samurkashian, took initiative and organized the event. With the help of the Rosdom Chapter Executive, he spent countless hours putting together his speech, designating a speaker, and preparing a tasty Armenian brunch menu for all to later enjoy. Armen states that it was a lot of work, but it was worth it.”
Hoory Minoyan, who was the Youth Corps representative speaker, flew in from Los Angeles to share her experience and knowledge about Youth Corps. Hoory attended Youth Corps last summer, and stated that it was the best experience of her life.” She advised many senior high school graduates that the summer before your freshman year of college is the best time to go. After Armen gave his welcoming remarks, Hoory was welcomed to the podium. She described the some of the camp sites, such as in Artsakh and Gyumri, as well as the activities that took place with the children. Hoory stated that her favorite camp site was in Artsakh, and that she didnt want to leave.”
The main goal of Youth Corps is to allow Armenians of the Diaspora to have a direct impact on the lives of impoverished kids and their families. The program dates back to 1994. By the time the cease-fire took place between Armenia and Azerbaijan, many villages were left war torn. The AYF, which was established in 1933, sent many Youth Corps volunteers to Artsakh to help rebuild these villages. Since 2007, the program has shifted its focus from rebuilding war-torn villages to running summer day-camps for the children of Armenia and Artsakh.
As the event came to a close, donations to the Youth Corps program amounted to over $1000. The program ended with many locals asking Hoory additional questions about the program and her experience. This years Youth Corps Committee is expecting to receive even more applicants, in order to send more youth to Armenia in order to change the lives of countless Armenian children.
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.