Counterpart International brought together young leaders from Armenia’s 41 Youth and Community Action Centers (Y/CAC) on August 3-5, 2012 and transformed three ordinary hot summer days into a celebration of youth, community and action. The 2012 Youth Leadership Summer Camp (2012 YLSC) was a learning and sharing adventure for the young leaders from across the country.
The goal of the 2012 YLSC was to further cultivate leadership qualities and skills among young people in communities where Counterpart works, to build on their knowledge and experience in leading change, and to more effectively demonstrate the real role that young people play as civic leaders today and in the future.
During their three-day adventure the 41 young leaders discussed their role in sustaining the three pillars of Y/CACs:
- promotion of volunteerism (civic activism)
- building on strengths of their communities (asset based community development)
- serving as a gateway of knowledge and progress (information management)
The participants also defined outcomes of community engagement through the action planning process. Young leaders brainstormed on how to better engage community youth in the coming year based on past achievements and discussed lessons learned. Future plans include intercommunity exchanges and sustainability projects for buildings that were renovated under Counterpart’s grant programs.
“Before the camp we were mainly thinking about needs and difficulties that youth in our communities must overcome. It was exciting to learn about asset based community development concepts as we began to think about how much we can contribute to make our community a better place to live,” noted Marine Harutyunyan, a young leader from Lchashen.
Camp participants explored the impact of community volunteerism on their own career paths through a discourse led by Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and Armenian parliamentarian Edmon Maroukyan, who began his career as a civic activist. After these inspiring discussions, one of the young participants, rephrasing a PCV, stated that one of the greatest revelations for him during the camp was,“it is my duty as an Armenian citizen to ensure that my personal and professional development also add value to my community.”
To learn more, watch the video.