Throughout the centuries Armenia withstood the hardships caused by constant wars but could maintain Christian identity, and preserve its truly Christian traditions and culture. However, the gap appeared during the Soviet period when several generations of Armenians grew up with a significant lack of their spiritual education. As a result, there were limited number of skilled teachers and parents who were able to nurture children’s spiritual growth.World Vision pursues the mission of restitution and growth of spiritual values of Armenians through supporting Armenian Church to promote Christian education.
Within World Vision’s Youth Bible Curriculum project (YBC) Christian educational textbooks for children of different age groups and teacher manuals were developed, printed and distributed in close partnership with Armenian Apostolic Church. Together with Armenian Apostolic Church World Vision provided annual one-week comprehensive trainings to the teachers of Sunday and regular schools and faith leaders from different regions of Armenia on different themes, including YBC methodology, with an aim to raise the Christian classes’ teachers’ capacities. In 2016, more than a hundred teachers participated in this annual training session.
Church partnership worked mainly through 14 Area Programs (ADPs) in different regions (marzes) of Armenia; Social Diakonia projects, carried out together with community churches, included the establishment of sport classes in Ijevan, Berd and Alaverdi, art clubs in Gyumri, Alaverdi, Sisian, Gavar and puppet theaters in Gavar and Vardenis, Ijevan and Vanadzor, small-scale honey productions in Kapan, Sisian , Alaverdi and various youth and adult Christian education clubs in the premises of the Armenian churches. World Vision supported the establishment and operation of fifty Christian schools and classes in those areas; about dozen family clubs were established so far.
Every summer World Vision provided vulnerable children with an opportunity to enjoy a friendly and joyful environment within Christian summer camps, where besides nutritious meals, recreational activities and fun time, children participated in Bible studies, learnt the history of Armenian Church and recognize Christian values. Each year 2000-3000 children from different regions and Yerevan including children with special needs had a chance to spend their holidays in World Vision summer camps.
World Vision Armenia continues to work vigorously with the Church to address the social and spiritual problems of the vulnerable families in Armenian communities.