Global ARF Youth Implement Programs to Support Artsakh

Global ARF Youth Implement Programs to Support Artsakh

ARF members in the Western US and Canada contribute $11,000 to support ongoing and future programs in Artsakh.

Members of the Armenian Youth Federation regions and ARF Student Associations, which exist
in 30 countries worldwide, are currently in Artsakh implementing programs for the rebuilding of

In an interview with Yerkir Daily, ARF Youth Office Executive Director Arshak Mesrobian stated
that the activities of the ARF in Artsakh are humanitarian and voluntary and no one should be
able to prohibit activities that defend and protest the human rights of people. However,
Mesrobian did note that members have faced some challenges lately as they entered Artsakh.

“There is a new procedure according to which individuals have to apply and get consent from
the Russian peacekeepers. This issue makes the situation difficult but also poses a more
serious concern. Artsakh’s national security becomes threatened because if this continues,
Artsakh will be isolated and also cut off from Diasporan Armenians with foreign citizenship. And
in general, Artsakh’s communication with the outside world is not only on the verge of being
limited to an extent but it is rather being cut off for good,” said Mesrobian.

Each participant of the ARF’s initiatives in Artsakh has entered Artsakh and has received
permission due to the fact that they are participating in humanitarian efforts.

According to Mesrobian, there hasn’t been any reactions regarding the work of ARF youth by
Azerbaijani authorities yet but it is evident that they are monitoring everything and are aware of
the events taking place in Artsakh. He added that the work upholds and protests basic human
rights and Azerbaijan has no right to interfere.

Mesrobian then stressed that the Artsakh authorities should not politicize the work of the ARF
because with the nation in the brink of collapse, everyone should collectively work to rebuild
Artsakh instead of making political calculations and prioritizing their own political interests.

“Unfortunately, I must emphasize that as an organization that concentrates all its pan-Armenian
resources and potential in this work, it is only the ARF,” he stated. Mesrobian explained that the
security of Artsakh is connected with the work of the ARF since supporting the economy and
strengthening the society of Artsakh all contain elements of security.

The main problems in postwar Artsakh are socio-economic and national security; both of which
increase the threat of emigration. Therefore, the ARF Youth Office, which is the main
coordinator of the activities of the ARF youth worldwide has decided to concentrate its pan
Armenian resources and global efforts in Artsakh.

The Artsakh postwar priorities of the ARF Youth are twofold; overcome the internal political
crisis in Yerevan and remove the defeatist government regime and work towards restoring and
developing Artsakh.

Members of the Armenian Youth Federation and the ARF Student Associations that are in
Artsakh are focusing on four types of initiatives:

1) Moral and resourceful support to the people of Artsakh.
2) Supporting children of Artsakh with postwar trauma and effects.
3) To conduct Professional vocational trainings for the Artsakh youth.
4) Volunteer services in various (private, public and state) institutions.

“The homeland is kept and secured through living and creating and in order to ensure this, the
ARF Youth Office organized 12-15 capacity building courses. The topics were chosen after
conducting the necessary research and concluding what is most needed in Artsakh. Some
examples of the courses we have already conducted include business management and
budgeting finances․ The upcoming courses are mobile app development and innovative
agriculture. We feel that this is important, especially because Artsakh lost 75% of arable land
due to the war and we now have to learn to create a great amount of crops on a limited area,”
stated Mesrobian.
The second phase of the program will allow participants of the courses in Artsakh to present
their business plans to investors from Armenia and the Diaspora. The investors will be able to
finance the project of their choice.

The ARF Youth Office has also placed one of its volunteers, a physical therapist from Lebanon,
at the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre where he has been for one month now. In addition, there
are also members from the USA and Armenia from different professional backgrounds
volunteering in relevant sectors in Artsakh as well. The people of Artsakh have warmly
welcomed the ARF volunteers with their traditional hospitality, concluded Mesrobian.

For the full interview, please watch: