World Vision Armenia

Youth Empowerment

Programme name: Youth Empowerment

Programme time frame: 2015-2018

Direct beneficiaries:

Indirect beneficiaries

Programme Overview

World Vision Armenia Youth Empowerment programme seeks to establish an environment and effective platforms where youth may exercise authentic participation and pursuit their own visions, dreams, hopes, and concerns pertaining to development and overall well-being. The programme activities are grounded on the fundamental evidence that if young people have sufficient incomes and resources to sustain productive lives, they can generate an economic opportunity and contribute to the wider good and care for others.

In Armenia young people aged 14-29 are considered as one of the most vulnerable clusters of the population, affected by poverty, lack of appropriate education, unemployment, social inequality and environmental degradation. Many young people still lack access to information, equal opportunity to receive quality public services, sufficient skills and knowledge to pursue career goals and benefit from opportunities in the labour market. World Vision Armenia recognizes the big potential and huge underutilized capacity among youth for the good of communities and the public, in general. Through this programme the organization tries to eliminate factors having negative effect on the youth welfare and then empower them to act as agents of change.

Programme Goal

Youth to become drivers of change by promoting them to use their maximum potential as citizens and as economic subjects and ensuring youth transition well into adulthood with the skills, capacities and sustainable livelihoods to take care of their children.

In pursuing this goal World Vision Armenia applies local level advocacy for quality implementation of state youth policy and promotion of social accountability between young citizens and duty bearers.

Youth Empowerment programme provides diverse range of mechanisms and platforms where youth may exercise authentic participation, voice up their concerns and share their vision. 

IMPACT and SKYE Clubs

IMPACT and SKYE clubs are groups of young people who meet together each week to take part in social actions through identifying community problems, brainstorm, plan and implement community service and social enterprise projects.

Projects implemented by IMPACT clubs involve adolescents aged 14-17 to serve multiple purposes, such as bringing social change to community, equipping youth with critical life, work readiness, and technical skills, participation in a spiritual model of life. SKYE clubs are aimed at 18- 29 aged mostly disadvantaged youth to develop the skills necessary to obtain sustained livelihoods and participate constructively in their communities as well as increase their knowledge of the local market, gain skills experience and networks to find employment or start their own business.

IMPACT and SKYE Club models draw upon experimental learning methodologies and are founded in the principles of positive youth development. The models multiyear curriculums have four learning pillars: active citizenship, employability, social entrepreneurship and leadership. Overall, 50 IMPACT and 18 SKYEclubs operate in Armenia's 14 Area Programmes, involving more than 1300 adolescents and youth, half of which are World Vision registered children.

More information about IMPACT and SKYE clubs available here.

Public Speaking Platforms

Public platforms, such as TEDx and European Youth Parliament (EYP), provide youth with opportunities of communicating about the challenges and successes of their lives to a wider audience. 

At TEDx events young people deliver public speeches and address a wide range of topics pertaining to their interest and concern. Speakers present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways that may foster their public speaking skills and enhances their confidence. 

European Youth Parliament format allows a group of young people to learn, reflect and suggest legislative changes to a specific issue, which are debated at a public event, according to the rules of the European Parliament and are then voted. Adopted legislative motions are shared with respective state and local authorities for consideration.

Youth in Advocacy

Advocacy groups comprise of 20-25 young people representing 4-5 communities who engage in local level advocacy actions in their community. Young boys and girls gain extensive training courses on a wide variety of topics related to advocacy, such as human rights, state and local government entitlements, research, information communication technologies, etc. After the trainings are completed, the participants choose a topic of concern, collect evidence on the matter, plan and implement advocacy initiatives. They confidently engage with representatives of the local governments and relevant state organizations.

Debate Clubs

Debate clubs, initiated by the Jinishian Memorial Foundation and implemented in partnership with World Vision Armenia, involve students aged 13-17 for engaging in the civil society development process. Debate clubs are extracurricular activities at schools that are mentored by teachers, selected by school administration. Debate club members increase their knowledge and interest in key issues related to the development of civil society, democracy and human rights, as well as develop communication and analytical thinking skills. Furthermore, through this project World Vision strives to reduce abuse among teenagers and teach young people to resolve conflicts in a peaceful manner.

Debate club members also participate in civic seminars where they get acquainted with the activities of various international, local organizations and state institutions.

During the 2015-16 educational year the debate clubs projects have been implemented in Armenia’s 40 schools within World Vision Armenia’s programming area.

Youth Empowerment addresses youth employment in two directions: Youth are supported to become employed or self-employed.

Professional Orientation

In the light of labor market demand and supply gap in Armenia, World Vision conducts capacity building of school teachers on professional orientation of higher-graders in partnership with the State Professional Orientation Centre. Alternatively, the organization supports professional orientation trainings for the students to choose classes with specific professional orientation that will lead to increased competitiveness in the labor market. Youth, especially the most vulnerable, are supported with gaining vocational education, while employment will be achieved through increased job searching skills. With this view World Vision works with major labour market players to establish links and create employment opportunities for youth.

Another segment of youth will gain business skills and will be supported with start-up funding and consultancy to lead a successful business.

Engineering Labs

World Vision Armenia World Vision Armenia with the Union of Information Technology Enterprises (UITE) implements engineering club-laboratories within the public school system of Armenia that aims at strengthening the basic technical education in Armenia, assisting students in choice of specialization, and preparing educated labour force.

The ultimate goal of the project is the encouragement of the technological education in Armenia, the growth of employment in technological sector. Apart from the mentioned, educational system will lead to change of mentality and train new values not only for the promotion of creative thinking among youth but also for the implementation of specific innovative projects by youth in the sector of IT and recycling.

Key Milestone for 2017

•More than 1500 youth have been engaged in a total of 56 IMPACT and 29 SKYE clubs across 14 APs of Armenia, with 5 clubs established with engagement of refugees in Armenia. 

•A total of 158 community projects completed, reaching around 100,000 community members.

•Some 650 youth received IT education through 30 Engineering laboratories established at schools. 

•In 38 schools, around 450 young students participated in Debate Clubs. 

•Some 200 children participated in variety of networking events, such as debate championships, TEDxYouth and TEDxKids, national gathering of 150 IMPACT/ SKYE club leaders, etc. 

•Around 280 youth actively engaged in advocacy, have elaborated 28 advocacy action plans and implemented activities aimed at solving issues of concern. 

•600 young people engaged in the programme participated in professional orientation trainings in their schools.

•121 vulnerable youth have participated in vocational trainings and gain technical, on-the job skills. 

•Total of 1700 youth participated in Professional Orientation sessions. 

•243 youth received training on social entrepreneurship and initiated 8 small start-ups. 

The annual review survey conducted by WVA showed that 41% (or 53 out of 129 surveyed) SKYE club members found new job or started businesses or changed their jobs after involvement in the SKYE club for 1 year. 

The annual review also showed that willingness to act as socially active citizen is higher in WVA communities compared to other, control communities. 79% average participation in WVA communities vs. 61% in control communities.