Due to the Corona Virus pandemic and the war between Artsakh and Azerbaijan we were unable to run the Youth For Change program in 2020. None of the donated funds have been used at this point. We are happy to report that we were awarded a $20,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service and are in the planning stages to continue and expand the program beggining in spring.
In the spring of 2020 just before the pandemic started one of our team members Armen Manukyan was able to attend the conservation corps conferance in Washington D.C. and learned so much from this conferance about how conservation corps are working in the U.S. This opportunity was made possible by the U.S. Forest Service.
This past summer Trails For Change was pleased to succesfully start our Youth For Change Program. Thanks to all the donors who made this possible! We had 10 local participants from various regions of Armenia as well as a few international volunteers.
We mainly focused on trail restoration/construction as part of our efforts to increase tourism to the region. The tourism industry will provide the local villagers a means of income providing tourists with needed services.
In 2020 we plan to expand the program. We are planning projects in the Vayots Dzor region near Noravank Monastery as well as in the Lori Region. We still have funds remaining from our 2019 fundraiser and fundraising continues for 2020.
This past summer we were excited to successfully launch our Youth For Change Program. We had ten local youth happily join the program as well as international volunteers. Next year we plan to expand the program to include various topics including Armenian history, geology as well as flora and fauna of the region. The program took place in the Syunik region of Armenia in the beautiful Voratan Canyon near the famous Tatev Monastery. This is a popular tourist destination so the restoration work completed during this project of trails, bridges and retaining walls will have a very positive impact on the local economy as well!
We are happy to report that we have found a great project location to begin our Youth For Change program beginning in July. Our participant selection process has begun.
The project will be in the Syunik region of Armenia in the Voratan Canyon. There are several ancient trails that begin at the popular Tatev Monastery built in the 9th century. Tatev is one of the most visited sites in Armenia yet the surrounding villages receive very few visitors. We will begin by restoring the ancient trails leading from the monastery to the ruins of a nearby church and also connecting to nearby villages. This project will include the restoration of the trails, restoration of one bridge, installation of another bridge, as well as the construction of several stone retaining walls. The restoration of these trails will boost the local economy in the villages as more tourists venture out on the trails from the monastery.
During this project, we will also have international volunteers so participants will get to experience cultural exchange with these volunteers as well.
Thanks you for supporting our program. We could not do this without you.
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