What is Camp Javakhk?
Camp Javakhk is program of the Armenian Relief Society, Inc. that consists of four day camps in the towns of Akhalkalak, Akhaltskha, Ninotsminda and Dzalka within the Armenian-populated Javakhk region of Georgia. These camps are organized and planned by a committee of Armenian youth from the Eastern Region, USA. The camp is done free of charge for participants, lunch and snacks are provided and school materials given. The camp counselors are Armenian youth primarily from North America that travel to Armenia and Javakhk to connect with their homeland and cultivate bonds with fellow Armenians.
Where and why?
Javakhk is a region within the Republic of Georgia located to the north of Armenia. Javakhk consists of six main towns, four of which are concentrated by Armenians (three by more than 90%). Javakhk is a region that needs a lot of help, from roads that are non-existent, to hospitals and medical centers that have been closed, to businesses and economy that needs to be built. As the youth we are pursuing this specific project because it impacts the coming generation of Javakhk Armenians, renewing faith in their communities and allowing them to preserve their Armenian culture.
This program was conceived by the Armenian youth of the Easter Region, USA in 2011 and implemented in 2012 under the ARS. Although the project is in a very early stage, steps are being taken to improve and expand upon the current program. In 2012, the camp lasted for 7 days, and there were over 50 participants in each town who learned about Armenian history, songs, and dances. On the last day of the camp they were able to present all that they had learned to their parents and friends. Due to overwhelming support from the Javakhk community, the camp has continued to expand year to year. We are hoping to reach 300+ youth this summer with a total of 4 camps in the region.
What is the goal of the program?
The main goal of the program is to create a bond between the USA Eastern Region youth and the youth of Javakhk while aiding the Javakhk communities. As members of the Diaspora we have a responsibility to reach out to our people and assist where needed. Our presence in the area opens the horizons of not only the counselors going, but the kids in the region and it shows them that they’re so much more to the world then what they can currently envision. It is also a positive reinforcement for the community as a whole, showing them that there are Armenians half-way across the globe thinking about them.
To assist us in this cause we encourage you to donate to our camper sponsorship program. The cost to sponsor a camper in Javakhk for the entirety of the camp is $50 USD.
How the sponsorship helps
Camper sponsorships are the money required per camper for the program to run. The camper sponsorship includes all of the games, activities, field trips, t-shirts, bags and meals for the campers for the entirety of the camp. The money collected from donors also covers a portion of the cost of getting the counselors to Javakhk from Armenia and their stay while in Javakhk. If there are remaining funds after all costs are covered, they will be donated directly to the ARS Youth Centers of Javakhk, as well as saved to ensure the continuation of the program.
How can you help?
To help raise awareness about the Javakhk Armenians and become involved in this program, you can contact your local ARS or AYF chapter for local events, fundraisers and more details. To find your local ARS chapter visit ars1910.org. You may also contact the Camp Javakhk Committee directly to receive more information and educational materials about Javakhk by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow the committee directly on facebook at www.facebook.com/tebijavakhk
Camp Javakhk is an exciting and memorable 2-3 week program volunteering with kids 8-15 years old. Counselors will be travelling to Armenia and volunteering in Javakhk, Georgia.
If you are interested in a summer internship in Yerevan, working with a non-governmental organization, please visit our sister program, the
AYF Eastern Region Internship.
Fill out Javakhk application here: Javakhk Application or click on “Click here to apply”. —————->
Application Deadline: March 21, 2016
Acceptance Notification and Finalized Camp Dates announced by: March 28, 2016
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Who can apply?
- ARS Camp Javakhk is open to all youth, preferably over the age of 18, who are motivated and enthusiastic about helping fellow Armenians. If you are not 18, but believe you have enough counselor experience to qualify, apply and contact us at email@example.com.
- How long is the trip?
- The Camp Javakhk program is 2-3 weeks long, starting the second week of July.
- Where will I be staying?
- During the camp portion of the trip, counselors will be staying in hotels (guesthouses) in their respective towns of Javakhk. The time before and after the trip in Armenia, the AYF will be providing you with a place to stay at either a hotel or rented house/apartment.
- How much does the program cost?
- All you will be paying for is your airfare as well as meals during the stay in Yerevan. Cost may vary year to year, an average cost can range from $1000-1500 that includes: round-trip airfare, accommodations, transportation, food while volunteering, supplies for the program.
- I have family in Armenia; will I have time to see them?
- Yes, usually you will get a few days of free time in Yerevan, and you can use that time to visit your family.
- I’m not in AYF or ARS, can I still apply to the program?
- Absolutely! The program is open to all youth over the age of 18.
- I can’t afford the cost of the trip, but still am interested in participating in the program, should I still apply?
- Yes, the committee is investigating some fundraising opportunities that all applicants can help with and benefit from. In addition, if you would like to extend your stay in Armenia, Birthright Armenia subsidizes airfare expenses for their participants. For more details visit: www.birthrightarmenia.org
- My Armenian is not that great/know very little will that be a problem in volunteering?
- The group will have a camp director and participants who will be able to help you communicate.
- What is a camp director?
- The camp director will be the main communicator with the other organizers in Armenia and Javakhk. He/she will make sure everything runs smoothly and will guide the group in any way necessary to make sure everyone has a good time and the volunteer project gets done. They will also be the contact for emergency purposes etc.
- If this camp is in Javakhk region of Georgia, why are we going to Armenia?
- The camp will be taking place in Javakhk but we will be traveling in and out of Armenia to get a chance to meet with local organizers from ARS and sister organizations as well as visit similar programs in Armenia and meet their organizers. We also want to give everyone the chance to experience as much of the homeland as possible as a group.
- Where is Javakhk?
- Javakhk is region located to the north of Armenia within the Republic of Georgia. Driving from Yerevan it takes approximately 4 hours. Javakhk is compromised of 6 main towns 4 of which are concentrated by Armenians.
- Is it safe?
- Safety is not a concern for the counselors or for the camp. There is also no concern for the locals after the departure of the counselors.
- Where will the camps take place?
- The camps will take place in the ARS Youth Centers of Akhalkalak, Akhaltskha, and Ninotsminda.
- What are camper sponsorships?
- Camper sponsorships are the money required per camper for the program to run. The camper sponsorship includes all of the games, activities, field trips, t-shirts, bags and meals for the campers for the entirety of the camp. The money collected from donors also covers a portion of the cost of getting the counselors to Javakhk from Armenia and their stay while in Javakhk. If there are remaining funds after all costs are covered, they will be donated directly to the ARS Youth Centers of Akhalkalak and Akhaltsikhe, as well as saved to ensure the continuation of the program.
For questions or more information, contact the AYF Office at (617)-923-1933 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
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