AYF Youth Corps
AYF Youth Corps
The Armenian Youth Federation Western Region's Youth Corps program provides a memorable, productive and exciting means for Armenian youth to establish and strengthen their ties with the homeland. The program began in 1994 after the signing of the cease-fire between Armenia and Azerbaijan that ended the violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In its early years the AYF would send Youth Corps volunteers to Nagorno-Karabakh to help rebuild many of the newly independent republic’s war-torn villages. In 2008, the AYF opened a summer youth camp in Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city. With the establishment of the camp, the program changed its focus from rebuilding shattered buildings to connecting Armenians in the Diaspora with Armenians in the homeland. From its inception, Youth Corps has been empowering young Diasporans to take on a more direct role in the nation-building process in Armenia. Camp Gyumri, as it has come to be known, continues the program’s long tradition of giving young Armenians from the United States a chance to make a direct impact on the lives of some of Gyumri’s most impoverished children and families.
Since 2008, the Youth Corps program has continued to expand in both scope and size. Currently, Youth Corps operates 5 bi-weekly summer camps in 4 different cities in Armenia and Artsakh located in Gyumri, Proshyan, Askeran, and Shushi. Over 1000 local kids participate in AYF Youth Corps camps each summer.
The Youth Corps program is 6 weeks long, with 5 weeks of volunteer work and 1 week of touring.