For those interested in applying for the next grant cycle, the application is now available in pdf or doc format. If you know of an interested serving volunteer or host organization in Armenia, please pass the word along!
Two important messages from Friends of Armenia:
1. CALL FOR BOARD MEMBERS!
Call for New Board Members at Friends of Armenia: Serving as a board member is a great opportunity to continue your commitment to the people of Armenia as well as support and stay involved in the Peace Corps community. We welcome nominations for all positions for the 2015 calendar year, especially from those motivated to use their passion and skills to contribute to the organization. Please let us know if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com
Nominations due: December 1st
Announcement of candidates: December 15th
Receiving input on candidates from membership: December 15-January 1st
Announcement of new board members: January 5, 2015
2. RESULTS FROM THE 2014 MEMBERSHIP SURVEY!
Who took the survey? 45 of 46 surveyors were RPCVs, 30 from groups A-15 -present, and 56.5% identified as active FOA members (meaning they’re current on their dues- thanks!).
WHAT PEOPLE LIKE
Most people (73.5%) are happy with frequency of newsletter.
Surveyors generally support the two grant cycles (85.7%)
Most are happy with the current board structure (62.5%)
In the coming year, FOA will begin to take the lessons we learned to shape our programs, meetings, communications, etc. Based on the survey, this might include:
● Extending membership options: 5 year, lifetime, or automatic renew payment options
● Work on our membership solicitation methods
● Reach out to early RPCVs to join FOA
● Change newsletters from PDF to HTML
● More of a social media presence
● Relay grant decision reasoning to membership
● More social updates from membership
WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU:
Have you had an RPCV reunion or participated in any third goal activities lately? Did you finish a degree, start a new job, get married, or have a baby? We want to know! The survey showed that an overwhelming number of respondents would prefer more social updates from membership. In order to make that happen, we would love it if you could SEND US A PICTURE AND/OR BRIEF DESCRIPTION of your story, event, or update to include in the newsletters. Thank you in advance.
THE SURVEY WAS INCREDIBLY HELPFUL. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED.
HERE IS THE LINK: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FOAfeedback
Ի՞նչ կա Հայաստանում:
What’s Happening in Armenia this Summer?
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:
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.