On July 3, Artur Najaryan, the chairman of the board of the “Youth Initiative Centre” NGO, Christine Weigand, UNICEF representative of Armenia, and Ananik Voskanyan, the head of the Artik community, signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a youth center in Artik in 2023. The center will provide community-based services to adolescents and youngsters.

In the next six months, UNICEF will work with the Artik Municipality and the “Youth Initiative Centre” NGO to renovate, furnish, and equip the center with accessories, developmental games, educational and informational materials for children, adolescents and youngsters.

“Through the establishment of this youth house, UNICEF will support adolescents and young people of Artik and nearby communities to have access to non-formal education, build their life skills and foster their potential in civic engagement, innovation, and entrepreneurship. This youth house will be an important example of collaboration between many partners from local government to diaspora and civil society to help establish a quality community-based service for adolescents,” said Christine Weigand, UNICEF Representative in Armenia.

The “Youth Initiative Centre” NGO will carry out the foundation works of the Artik Youth House open youth centre, will ensure the operation of the centre and will provide the youth with community-oriented youth-centered services to enrich their knowledge with non-formal education and to communicate safely with their peers.

“We are hopeful that this youth house will become a platform for young people to have meaningful contribution to the development of their community and to voice their opinions. We pledge to support young people of Artik in acquiring practical skills, present their experiences, present their solutions and successfully transition to adulthood and labor market,” noted Artur Najaryan, the Chairman of the board of YIC NGO.

The municipality of Artik provided space for the foundation of the youth house and will support the renovation works. From January 2024, the municipality will provide a budget to cover the running costs of the centre as a community service, including staff salaries and utilities.

“The young people of Artik have a great potential to become an active member of the community and contribute to the development of their country. Some of them already serve in the community council. We place great importance in the healthy development of adolescents to reach their full potential, and with this youth house, we stand ready to further support them,” noted Ananik Voskanyan, head of Artik community.

In case of emergencies, the youth house will also be ready to serve as a safe, child-friendly corner where children, adolescents and young people can receive psychosocial support.