The Armavir Regional Integrated Rural Development project is designed to improve the socio-economic conditions of 102 socially vulnerable families in a cluster of six Armenian villages, namely Dalarik, Hushakert, Lernagog, Karakert, Miasnikian and Argina, all located in the Armavir marz. Animal husbandry development, dairy production, and rural youth development are the project’s primary outcomes. In the framework of the project, families involved in the project were provided with gravid heifers (one per family) or sheep (five or six 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 passed on the gift of 102 gravid heifers or sheep of good quality to another 102 families in their villages.
The project also empowers disadvantaged rural youth in the target villages, by establishing YES (Youth Empowered for Self-Reliance) Youth Clubs in five villages involved in the project. Training and project activities focus on the following seven themes of youth leadership and education: agriculture, business education, 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 in Armavir region.
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.
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.