Finding Peace: Rehabilitation Summer Camp Organized to Support Youth Living Near Conflict

From August 1st until August 11th, 20 teenagers from the Sers and Bardzruni Villages of the Vayots Dzor region and 60 teenagers from communities located close to the border in the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh were hosted in the Siranush Camp, located in one of the most picturesque locations of Vayots Dzor. The project was initiated by Syunik NGO and carried out with the financial support of both the German nonprofit Bröt für die Welt and the Armenian Diocese of Canada on the initiative of Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan. The project aimed to help youth living near conflict areas overcome psychological challenges as well as provide them with a structured and engaging summer activity. The everyday life of the camp youth was full not only of interesting and educational games but also courses on topics relevant to their lives such as conflict transformation, breaking down stereotypes, first aid, language classes, and psychological counseling. Throughout the duration of the camp, all of the youth participants received free dental care services provided by the Armenian Dental Society of California.

The Freedom Loving Youth (FLY) charitable organization, represented by Armash Bishop Nalbandyan, the head of the Armenian Diocese of Damascus, also provided camp participants with T-shirts, hats, and backpacks full of various learning tools and school supplies. During the camp, participants presented songs, dances, and performances to the guests. Among the guests were Armash Bishop Nalbandyan, Abraham Archbishop Mkrtchyan, head of the Vayots Dzor Diocese, representatives from the Armenian Dental Society of California, Syunik NGO staff members, and parents of the camp youth.

We have been really happy here at the camp, which is surrounded by wonderful nature. During the camp time, we were able to find new friends, gain new knowledge, and had many interesting and unforgettable days that we will never forget,” expressed one camp participant.

In gratitude for their support, Tatev Harutyunyan, Syunik NGO Program Manager, would like to express her deep thanks to Bröt für die Welt which has continually supported this and many other programs imitated by Syunik NGO. In addition, gratitude is extended to the Armenian Diocese of Canada, especially Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan, who continues to support children and youth from the border villages of Vayots Dzor region.