Arménie Terre de Vie is shaped by the interests and drive of volunteers who are looking to discover Armenia and its culture, engage with local communities, and provide assistance to those in need. In short, Arménie Terre de Vie is perfect for those who want to actively participate in building a stronger Armenia.
Launched in 2011 by the AGBU Youth Paris group who were motivated to give back to their homeland, the program runs each summer for 4-weeks. 30 participants live in a designated village in Armenia, focus on a reconstruction project and lead sessions with local children to educate them on healthcare and hygiene. Aptly named, Arménie Terre de Vie means Armenia, the land of life, as along the way, participants form irreplaceable bonds with one another, the people of Armenia and the country.
In July 2023, participants traveled to Sarigyugh to continue their work in the kindergarten there, initiated in 2022. In addition, they engaged in educational activities with local children, held sessions on healthcare best practices, and distributed basic needs packages in the region.
Each summer AGBU identifies the needs within a specific community and adopts projects focused on improving the prospect of youth from that location. Service projects include: reconstruction of schools and youth centers using eco-friendly approaches; leading educational sessions and healthcare classes; hosting activities and game days, distributing supplies, food and books. To date, our projects have improved the lives of over 3,000 children, their families and their neighborhoods.
To finance the projects each summer, participants engage in pre-arrival fundraising efforts through crowdsourcing.
Applications for 2023 are now closed. Stay tuned for information on our 2024 session.
Volunteers must be aged from 18 to 30 years old, and speak English, French or Armenian. All participants must be available during the entire duration of the program and are expected to work in advance of their trip to promote and crowdfund for that year's efforts.
Volunteers must pledge to raise at least 500 Euro/Dollar in support of the work effort for the season. The overall fundraising goal each for the cohort is based on the projects selected.
*In addition to fundraising, participants are expected to cover their airfare and certain meals during their stay. See Travel and Accommodations section.
Volunteers are responsible for covering the cost of airfare to/from Armenia. AGBU will arrange for a group rate as possible.
AGBU will provide a series of accommodations in Armenia including stays at AGBU-owned facilities, hotels and in local homes. During any placement in local homes, participants will stay in small groups.
AGBU will also arrange project and program-related transportation services. During workdays, AGBU will offer breakfast and lunch, with breakfast also provided during the weekends. The program managers will also host a series of group dinners throughout the month.
Our program is designed to integrate participants into the daily lives of the local communities in which they will serve. This form of cultural exchange forms irreplaceable bonds and a better understanding of the needs and perspective of the neighborhood. We strive to provide a safe and well-rounded experience for all.