Three-Day Community Meeting-Discussion entitled Start Local Go Global

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From the 14th to 16th December, 2019 three-day community meeting-discussion entitled Start Local Go Global/Developing the Region from Your Community took place in LucyTour Hotel  located in Hermon village of Yeghegis consolidated community. The meeting was attended by the community leaders of Vayots Dzor region, community economic development program managers and the representatives of the relevant departments of Vayots Dzor Governor’s Office.

The purpose of this regularly conducted community meeting-discussion was helping local authorities to develop and implement more realistic and comprehensive community development programs.

The meeting-discussion was carried out within the framework of Syunik NGO’s Social Development Program, with financial support of German Brot für die Welt organization, in cooperation with Vayots Dzor Governor’s Office and Vayots Dzor Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

On the first day of the discussion, during the official opening of the event, the Governor of Vayots Dzor region Ararat Grigoryan welcomed all the participants and noted that the agriculture and tourism are the two main fields with development prospects in Vayots Dzor and such initiatives promote local communities to design and carry out realistic projects in the field.  ”We should never feel relaxed, because we are surrounded by challenges, we must all contribute to the development of our region and our country. We should work day and night and I’m glad that today there are so many people engaged in this work”, noted His Eminence Archbishop Abraham Mkrtchyan, Primate of the Vayots Dzor Diocese in his speech.

After the official opening, Program Manager of Syunik NGO Tatev Harutyunyan presented the Social Development Program of the organization, highlighting  community development component in the scope of  which such sectoral meetings are regularly organized, creating a platform for active members of community to come together, discuss sectoral issues and come up with suggestions in their communities.

Afterwards, the guest speakers presented a number of baseline principles in the field of community development.

Prime Minister’s Advisor R. Ghukasyan spoke about the human-centered development of communities, about the representation of the intra-community development plans to community members and discussions together with them as a participatory approach.

The chairman of Community Finance Officers Association (CFOA) V. Movsisyan presented the principles and the importance of the effectivly organized Annual Activity Plan of the communities.

Shen NGO agricultural program coordinator Nvard Shahmuradyan presented the issues of intensive gardening, influencing factors, obstacles and prospects for the development.

The deputy chairman of Urban Development Committee N. Petrosyan spoke about mapping and zoning of the lands of consolidated communities of the region.

On the second day of the meeting-discussion  the head of the Department of Agriculture and Environment of  Vayots Dzor Governor’s Office G. Margaryan presented the new subsidised project entitled ”State support to greenhouses” and spoke about its benefits and application procedures.

Head of Development Programs of Vayots Dzor Governor’s Office A. Kostanyan spoke about the subsidy programs, its concept, during which the participants made suggestions on how to reduce potential risks during the project implementation.

Fundraising specialist T. Sukiasyan spoke about the potential fundraising tools, grant writing skills and principles.

The Head of the Vayots Dzor Regional Probation Service operating within the system of the Ministry of Justice A. Grigoryan also had a speech. He spoke about the restorative justice, probation service, about duties and functions of it, emphasizing the importance of community involvement in the program.

The three-day joint work was marked by the new opportunities and perspectives for the active co-operation and with prospects for the development and implementation of sustainable development programs in the communities of the region.

On the last day of the discussion, community economic development project managers presented the existing and potential tourism resources of their communities.

During the meeting the issues of separate communities in the field of tourism were also discussed. In the near future, working groups will be set up in the communities to work on community inventory, problem identification and possible solutions in the field of tourism.

The meeting-discussion was facilitated by AUA Extention Program Coordinator in Yeghegnadzor Hayarpi Aghakhanyan.