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Armavir Project

The Armavir Regional Integrated Rural Development project is designed to improve the socio-economic conditions of 85 socially vulnerable families in a cluster of five Armenian villages, namely Dalarik, Hushakert, Lernagog, Karakert, and Miasnikian, Argina, all located in the Armavir marz. Animal husbandry developmentdairy production, and rural youth development are the project’s primary outcomes. In the framework of the project, 17 families in each village were provided with gravid heifers (one per family) to establish and run small scale farms. Additionally, the farmers received theoretic and practical trainings on advanced farm and animal management, as well as technical assistance (vet medicine), which enables families to increase food production, improve their nutrition and ensure food diversity. After a three-year period, the original recipient families will pass on the gift of 85 gravid heifers of good quality to another 85 families in the same or other villages.

The project also empowers disadvantaged rural youth in the target villages, by establishing YES (Youth Empowered for Self-Reliance) Youth Clubs in all five project villages. Training and project activities focus on the following six themes of youth leadership and education: agribusiness, ecology, health education, civic education, logical thinking, and journalism. A minimum of 350 teenagers directly benefit from enrollment in extracurricular classes at the community YES Youth Clubs.

YES Youth Club members also participate in small projects such as the Little Farmers Project, ecological police, vermiculture farm and bio-humus production, village youth parliament, health school and youth club newsletter. The Little Farmers project, which involves raising calves, provides youth club members an opportunity to acquire practical and theoretical knowledge, skills and experience in animal husbandry which helps them develop their own small agribusinesses in the future, as well as develop a sense of responsibility for their work and the ability to plan future development projects. The Little Farmers project also gives the families of participating youth the opportunity to secure food, by organizing dairy production, and generate income, by marketing dairy products. Equally beneficial, the Youth Clubs’ ecological project vermiculture farm produces bio-humus from manure collected from the Little Farmer’s calves farming project. The bio-humus is then distributed to youth club members and project participants to be used on their own family land plots. In addition, the youth clubs sell some of the bio-humus to members of the community, thus ensuring a small income for the youth clubs, while promoting organic farming practices in the region. By participating in this ecological project, Youth Club members learn about vermiculture, organic farming and non-waste management.

The project as a whole provides Youth Club members with the opportunity to develop skills to solve community development challenges, concerning economic, health, education and social life issues. Ultimately, by the end of the project, the rural youth of these five Armenian villages will be better positioned to enter adulthood and contribute to a country of young democracy and rapid economic development. The project is co-funded by Heifer International and the Children of Armenia Fund.