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Jul 15, 2014

What’s Happening in Armenia this Summer

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Ի՞նչ կա Հայաստանում:

What’s Happening in Armenia this Summer?

Camp Care

In January, Friends of Armenia granted funds to Bridge of Hope in Dilijan for their summer project, Camp Care.  Peace Corps Volunteer Bekkah Bernheim (A-21) is administering the camp in partnership with Bridge of Hope.  If successful, they hope to expand campsites in the future.  Camp Care is a two-fold curriculum that teaches personal and community health to youth with, and without, disabilities through a series of interactive seminars and games over a weeklong summer day camp. Throughout the week young people ages 11-16 will learn the importance of taking care of their bodies by focusing on topics such as hygiene, nutrition, exercising, and the importance of not smoking. Following this introduction to personal health, students will examine issues impacting community health. Community health, in this context, includes social engagement, volunteerism, and environmental awareness. Because community health is the shared responsibility of all community members, the camp will culminate in a community service project. The campers, junior camp counselors, and staff will clean up the neighborhood, weed the tree-lined street, and plant flowers. Parents, educators, and elected officials will be invited to take part.


Parents gather for informational meeting about Camp Care. March, 2014.


The FOA Board has also approved two grants through our Ongoing Support Program:


GLOW Project

As many of you know, GLOW has been a strong partnership between Stepanavan Youth Center and Peace Corps Armenia for many years.  We are proud to announce that FOA will support GLOW again this summer.  FOA funds will be used for take home materials for GLOW participants.  Each participant will receive a bag produced by Vardenis Sewing Group to hold materials as well as flash drives that will store the GLOW curriculum and pictures from summer school.  The participants will use these materials to implement seminars in their own communities following summer school.


TOBE (Teaching Our Boys Excellence)*

TOBE is a 7 day camp for 30 boys aged 13-17 followed by peer education activities in communities across Armenia. During the camp participants will be educated on 4 education themes (human rights, smoking and alcohol, healthy relationships, and sexual and reproductive health). They will also received training on basic project design and management and peer education. During the camp, each boy will design a peer education training on one of the 4 education themes that they will conduct in their own communities in the months of August or September 2014. FOA funds will support the campers in conducting their peer education projects by giving them each a small budget to purchase materials.



*What is TOBE? What happened to BRO (Boys Reaching Out)?


From our Peace Corps Volunteers in Armenia, we have learned that PC Global Initiative's recent trend has been to retire the BRO project and implement TOBE.  This year, Peace Corps Armenia is preparing for an inaugural TOBE Leadership Development Summer School project. The host organization for TOBE is Youth For Future (YFF) NGO. As stated by Peace Corps Volunteers in the field, “YFF is an ideal organization for partnership because they are staffed with very motivated, intelligent young professionals who have a genuine desire to learn how to design and conduct excellent projects, write effective and accurate grant proposals, and prepare for and monitor their projects.” TOBE will replace the former BRO program in FOA’s ongoing support program.


 
May 13, 2014

Barev Dzez Friends of Armenia!

As my first official post, let me acknowledge how grateful I am to work with such an amazing organization. FOA has a history of supporting innovative projects created and implemented by driven Armenians and their Peace Corps counterparts.  We are so fortunate to have a dedicated membership that continues to contribute financially to this work.

In April, FOA held its first annual membership drive, and with great success!  This year, 37 individuals stepped up to the challenge and donated more than $1000.  This money will be going directly to support projects that matter to Armenians and PCVs alike.  We promise to keep you updated in the coming months as some of these projects take place.

Renewing your membership is just one way to support the work of FOA.  Would you like to get more involved?  Please consider these options:

  • Join one of our committees

  • Promote FOA on social media (like our Facebook and LinkedIn pages!)

  • Increase your donation

  • Consider a fundraising drive for the FOA grants program

I look forward to working with all FOA members in the coming year in our shared effort to support Hayastan.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or suggestions at president@friendsofarmeniaonline.org.

Sincerely,


Maggie Woznicki (A-18, Sevan, TEFL/CHE)

FOA Board President



P.S. Didn’t renew your membership this April?  There is still time!  Renew here.


 
Mar 31, 2014

Friends of Armenia Annual Membership Renewal

Barev dsez,

It’s now time to renew your Friends of Armenia (FOA) annual membership. FOA is only as strong as its membership and the involvement of themembers. We look to you for your thoughts, feedback, and participation to keep the organization moving forward.

Your $15.00 dues and any additional donation go directly to selected causes and initiatives in Armenia. This year we’re providing ongoing support to several programs in Armenia in addition to the ongoing small project assistance Community Grants Program, which we may update by awarding grant support twice this year. These programs are entirely supported by your membership dues and donations. We have virtually no overhead, spending less than 5% on dues to the National Peace Corps Association and for filing fees as a 501(c)3 charitable organization.

FOA has a new president, Maggie Woznicki (A18), and the FOA board (president, secretary/treasurer Wayne Burt, tech. officer David Coe, andmembership officer Hedley Bond) is committed to a full and busy year for the organization. If you have any ideas or suggestions for other ways in which we can assist Armenia and it's citizens, please let us know.

Please renew your membership in FOA and be part of this community of PCVs, RPCVs and Armenians. As a member, you’ll receive our newsletter, four times each year, and be kept up to date on events in Armenia and FOA. To renew or donate using PayPal, go to: http://www.friendsofarmeniaonline.org/index.php/donate. If you'd rather send a check, make it out to Friends of Armenia and mail it to:

Wayne Burt, Treasurer FOA
PO Box 306
Wrentham, MA 02093

The renewal period ends on April 30 and I'll send out a reminder letter in mid-April to those of you whom we haven't heard from.

Hajogh,

Hedley Bond
RPCV A18 Armenia
Membership Officer, FOA
membership@friendsofarmeniaonline.org


 
Dec 19, 2013

Bari Galust yev Hajo Majo

Dear Friends of Armenia,

Please join me in welcoming Maggie Woznicki (A-18) and Kellianne Lauer (A-19) to the FOA team! FOA has amazingly had a history of all the Board Presidents (David Barshes A-14, Robert Dietrich A-15, Wayne Burt A-16 and Vanessa Bowie Rankin A-16) serving in Gegharkunik Marz. (Must be the Water?) So Maggie, who called Sevan home, will fit right in! Kellianne will take Maggie’s spot on the grants committee and has a great deal of experience in that field.

I know that both ladies will be a welcomed addition to the amazing teams they are joining. As follows are a few lines of thanks. I owe a great deal of gratitude to Wayne Burt (A-16, Secretary/Treasurer) who nominated me last year and who was the voice of reason to balance out my eccentricities, Hedley Bond (A-17, Membership) whose optimism, tenacity and accent never fail, David Coe (A-17, Technology) is a man who can solve any problem without breaking a sweat, and Kevin Crookshanks (A18, Communications) whose thoughtfulness makes every newsletter memorable.

Finally, I thank you as members of the Friends of Armenia for continuing to fund projects that enhance the lives of our extended Hy family. I truly believe that Friends of Armenia works as an NGO because; we help support the goals of Peace Corps volunteers that cannot be met by other means.

Hajo Majo,

Vanessa Bowie Rankin

Lame Duck FOA Board President


 
Nov 11, 2013

Elections

Dear Friends of Armenia,

Let me take a moment to thank you for not only serving in Peace Corps, but also for continuing with the Third Goal by being a member of the Friends of Armenia online.

We are holding our annual elections and are accepting nominations for the following positions:


President:  lead the organization, providing strategic direction and serving as an ambassador to external/internal groups to fulfill the mandate of FOA.  Facilitate the successful execution of all FOA program initiatives and endeavors.

Secretary-Treasurer:  Take notes from board meetings, maintain documents in shared document folders, report on the financial situation of FOA at all board meetings, maintaining all financial accounts and agreements with grant recipients.

Technology Officer:  maintain all digital and technology properties of FOA, including all areas of email, website, and social media properties.

Membership Officer:  work with the active and lapsed membership base to grow our footprint in early and recent groups of RPCV and PCV classes/groups.  Lead strategic initiatives that grow our membership base, and inspire a sense of community amongst members.

Communication Officer:  administer all strategic and ongoing communication activities, including the FOA newsletter, social media properties, communication with Post and front-end website publishing working in conjunction with the Technology Officer.

Email nominations to president@friendsofarmeniaonline.org

Nominations due: December 15th

Announcement of candidates: December 17th

Receiving input on candidates from membership: December 22

Announcement of new board members: January 1st.

“Serving with FOA is a great experience and with a motivated group of colleagues, or even friends, I know personally that you'll have an amazing time bringing assistance to the people of Armenia, continuing our collective legacies of service, as well as serving as a positive force for building community with RPCVs and other vested stakeholders.  Submit yourself today for a position to take the organization to the next level”.  -Robert Dietrich, former President FOA


Board members are unpaid, and commit to a minimum one-year term not to exceed a five-year duration.


Sincerely,

Vanessa Bowie Rankin (A16)

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