Armenian Volunteer Corps

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"Come Move Mountains" is AVC's Motto.

Established in 2000, the Armenian Volunteer Corps (AVC) is the premier volunteer placement organization based in Armenia. A registered, non-profit foundation, AVC provides skilled interns and volunteers, 21 years of age and over, with the opportunity to share their talents with Armenia for terms ranging from one month to one year while gaining hands-on experience and discovering a new world through immersion.

AVC participants reap the unique rewards of living and working directly with the people of Armenia. While the commitment required of an AVC volunteer is great, the benefits of the work are immeasurable. AVC helps participants to integrate seamlessly into Armenian society. Since its inception, AVC has assisted nearly 900 people from 53 countries in finding fulfilling placements in schools, non-profit organizations, churches, and businesses. With over 800 placement partners in Yerevan, Gyumri and throughout Armenia, AVC customizes placements to match participants' skills, interests and timeframe with the needs of Armenia.

Armenian Volunteer Corps provides a free range of services - including job placement, assistance with home stays, airport pick-up, pre-service orientation training, Armenian language classes, weekly excursions, informational/educational forums and gatherings, a centrally located office with computers, wifi, library and more.

AVC participants are responsible for financing their own travel and their own lodging in Armenia.

ELIGIBILITY:

AVC welcomes all individuals 21 years of age and older who are motivated to share their time and talents in Armenia for a minimum term of one month and up to one year (Professional Corps minimum term can be as short as two weeks). Past volunteers have ranged in age from 21 to 85.

There are no language requirements.

FOUNDERS:

Father Hovnan Demerjian earned his B.A. from Boston College and M.A. in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. From 1996 to1998, he taught in the public schools of Armenia as a member of the U.S. Peace Corps, an experience that motivated him to establish the Armenian Volunteer Corps in 2000. Father Hovnan returned to the United States in 2003 and joined the staff of the Diocese of the Armenian Church, where he pioneered a program to connect Armenian college students with the church. He graduated from St. Nersess Armenian Seminary in 2007 with a certificate in Armenian Studies, and following his ordination as a priest in June, he was assigned to St. Hagop Armenian Church in Pinellas Park, Florida.

Tamar Hajian, former vice-president and general counsel of Brandeis University, earned her J.D. from Boston College and LL.M. in taxation from Boston University. Hajian’s expertise in non-profit law - she headed the American Bar Association General Practice Section's Non-Profit Law Committee for several years – has proved beneficial, given the central importance of non-profit organizations to the evolution of civil society and the rule of law in developing nations. She first traveled to Armenia in 1967 and currently visits several times a year. In 1998, she co-founded the international legal firm Arlex, based in Yerevan. Hajian resides in the Boston, Massachusetts area.

Dr. Tom Samuelian holds his Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is the author of numerous books, articles, reviews and translations in the fields of Armenian language, literature and history, and has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and St. Nersess Seminary. He practiced corporate law in Washington, D.C.; Almaty, Kazakhstan; and Moscow, and is now based in Yerevan. Samuelian co-founded Arlex International Ltd., a public interest law practice in Armenia. Arlex also houses a range of development projects and has aided countless diasporan Armenians to integrate into Armenia.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Edele Hovnanian, Edele Hovnanian has been traveling to Armenia once or twice a year since the late 1970s, participating in several youth-oriented educational, cultural and volunteer service programs. She currently serves as president of the Land and Culture Organization (LCO-USA) and has sat on the board of its international umbrella organization, Union de Organization Terre et Culture in France, since 1993; Hovnanian has also been a member of the board of directors of the Armenian Assembly of America since 1991. She holds several senior management positions in real estate and property management firms. Hovnanian earned joint B.S. degrees in finance and civil engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.B.A. from Columbia University. She credits her study abroad year at the University of Yerevan in 1982-1983 as a life-changing experience. Hovnanian resides in New Jersey.

Linda Yepoyan, has twenty years of diverse project management experience, the last twelve within the non-profit sector. Since living in Armenia from 1989 to1992, she has maintained many homeland ties and relationships that take her back regularly. Her 1993 creation of the NGO Training and Resource Center in Armenia has aided Armenia’s development and improved the lives of many. Yepoyan is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She resides in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.

Executive Director: Tania Chichmanian, is a Vancouver, Canada native who grew up in Montreal. She has been actively involved in a number of Armenian organizations including the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Tekeyan Cultural Association and Zoryan Institute. She has over 25 years management experience in advocacy, the performing arts, communications, tourism, and television. Tania and her husband choreographer/artist Roudolf Kharatian relocated to Yerevan, Armenia in September 2009 after living in Washington, DC for 18 years. Prior to joining Armenian Volunteer Corps (AVC) as Executive Director in 2011, she worked as a television producer as well as a volunteer consultant for the National Ballet of Armenia and the Ballet 2021 Foundation.

Contact information: 37 Hanrapetutyan Street, Yerevan, Armenia 0010 Tel: +(374 10) 54-00-37

Website: http://www.armenianvolunteer.org


History

Formed in 2000, initially with funding from Fund for Armenian Relief. Started by Jason Demerjian, who was the first executive director of the organization, Thomas Samuelian and Tamar Hajian. Jason was followed by Narineh Azizian, then Nanik Melkomyan, then Anoush Tatevossian then Seta Iskandarian. Haykak Arshamyan then served as temporary director for one full year before Sharistan Melkonian took over for the next two year. The current executive director is Tania Chichmanian, a post she has held since 2011.

Volunteers

http://www.armenianvolunteer.org/v_2004-2005.htm

2001-02

Kohar Der Simonian, Mike Chobanian, Hratch Dilanchian, Jeannette John, Lena Majarian, John Merguerian

2002-03

Narineh Azizian, Becky Bagdassarian, Hratch Dilanchian, Tamar Haytayan, Keri Khachadourian, Leyla Krikor, Sarah Ludwig, Rhoda Manook, Knarik Meneshian, Murad Meneshian, Nareg Seferian, Antoine Terjanian, Sheila Terjanian, Sevan Topjian, Steve Vosbikian, Arina Zohrabian, Taleen Shamlian

2003-04

David Kelly, Cecile Tufenkchian, Eric Artiga, Ara Karamanian, Briony Krikorian (2003-5), Julia Martiesian (2003-5), Harout Chantikian, Hratch Sarkissian, Pamela Broadman, Ric Gazarian, Tzovinar Ramian, Lucine Hays, Christopher Uregian

2004

Alenoush Khachikian, Anna Iasmine Kirkorian, Kenar Lynn Maronian, Sevan Kolejian, Sonia Shahrigian, Tamar Ayrikyan, Tim Manook, Vrejouhi Atikian, Grace Yacoubian, Jeanine Bossart, Hagop Keverian, Anoush Tatevossian, Nadia Macri, Saro Derian, Tina Serebrakian, Haro Setian, Jeffrey Paretchan, Leon Melkonian, Kim Mann (2004-2005)

2005

Alex Kolandjian, Ani Dikranian, Ani Sarkisian, Ara Hasserjian, Arlet Kasarcan, Armen Bakirtzian, Avedis Soghigian, Carla Doughty, Chant Der Atamian, Edgar Martirosyan, Edward Casabian, Edward Davidian, Garine Khatcherian, Haroutioun Manougian, Jennifer Martiesian, Lalai Manjikian, Ludér Sahagian, Mariam Matossian, Myda Kavazanjian, Nayiry Gazi, Nicole Haroutunian, Peter Serian, Razmig Hovakimian, Sabine Chouljian, Seta Iskandarian, Shelley Terzian, Shoghig Mikaelian, Sophia Malkasian (2005-06), Talar Topjian, Taline Kavazanjian, Tamara Shahabian, Tania Kalpakgian, Tania Krikorian, Alina Sullivan, Ani Kerestedjian, Zavin Nazaretian, Andre Mansourian, Lara Eurdolian, Mariana Kechichian, Nicholas Bazarian (2005-06)

2006

Miriam Manook, Mary Keyork, Julie Couston, Raffi Kortoshian, Samuel Kassarjian, Sayat Arsanloglu, Maral Arsanloglu, Liliya Ambartsumyan, Haig Seferian, Nicole Varteresian, Siroun Telian, Arda Zakarian, Maral Melkonian, Chris Krikorian, Jessica Kashian, Raffi Yeretsian, Laura Hagopian, Alex Derderian, André Sarvarian, Lena Maranian, Stephanie Johnson, Lara Tourian, Laurence Manessian, Sam Setyan, Taline Kavazanjian, Myda Kavazanjian, Natalie Maserejian, Nyiri Vartanian, Armen Babajanian, Joe Levonian, Talar Tcholakian, Veronica Siranosian, Hagop Cutujian, Armen Khatchadourian, Laura Tashjian, Sevan Ohanian, Aram Mushegian, Raffi Keuhnelian, Dr. Ishkhan Babajanian, Anahit Babajanian, Armen Nercessian, Jack Maghamez, Serli Hackigolu, Kristen Stamboulian, Maro Siranosian, Jason Allukian, Andre Atoian

2007

Alexandra Allukian, Alison Tanielian, Armen Boyajian, Arpa Jaberian, Christina Manoukian, Elyssa Karanian, Garric Nahapetian, Hrant Gadarigian, Johnny Boghossian, Karen Kazanci, Katie Riley, Lori Wagoner, Mano Ishkanian, Mary Vardazarian, Mher Azezian, Ryan Weber, Setta Mushegian, Sevana Naaman, Shant Shahrigian, Svetlana Arakelyan, Tina Yesayan

2008

Mary Aida Ajamian Antoine Asik Anabela Avedisian Maria Balian Karl Armen Boudjikanian Jeremy Dalmas Florie Darakdjian Shant Davidian Ani Dikranian Dalila Eujanian Christopher Gasparyan Matt Ghazarian Yeva Hakobyan Sevag Haroutunian Kristine Kasumyan Carla Kavazanjian James Keshgegian Gayane Keshishian Marcelo Kevorkian Taleen Khoury Makruhi Kin Jerome Lafazan Rachel Magrdichian Hrant Majarian Yetvart Majian Olga Markarian Matthew McGann Gabriel Meghruni Armen Momjian Nanor Momjian Eduardo Raffi Nigoghosian Danielle Paroyan Alexandra Pilafian Lee Cristina Popa Sarkis Rshdouni Nooshig Sarkissian Christine Serdjenian Arevig Setian Edgar Shaghoulian Lara Talverdian Shuntt Tanielian Hasmig Tatiossian Meghrig Terzian Armando Topalian Diego Martin Vaneskeheian

2009

Tsoler Aghamal Edwin Akopian Nicky Albertson Cesar Gabriel Arabean Beatrice Arslanian Zaruhi Avetisyan Azatuhi Ayrikyan Talene Boodaghians Menar Boyadjian Nina Dangourian Maral DerSarkissian Arthur Dolmajian Cynthia El-Khoury Cerise Fereshetian Ani Garibyan Gaspar Goghgarian Adrik Grigorian Geraldine Guner Harutyun Gyurjyan Natalie Hecht Amy Hunter Antranik Kababejian Mary Kandaharian Gabrielle Kaprielian Juan Karaguezian Anna Kazarian Nareh Keshishyan Kevork Kojoyan Jonathan Kouyoundjian Martin Kreig Elaine Krikorian Mariana Mardirosian Talia Markarian Melania Melikian Mardiros Melikian Raffi Messant Mandy Messer Anoush Mirabegian Anne-Sophie Mournier Shahan Nercessian Karina Nigoghossian Diana Nseir Diana Ovsepian Jennifer Pichard Aram Pirjanian Kimberly Preske Beatrice Rotari Ani Saakyan Sarah Natasha Sabounjian Deanna Schanz Tracy Serjenian Sophia Shahverdian Paleny Topjian Hrayr Wannis Armen Yerevanian Aret Zartarian


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