Up & Running – Armenia


Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: training course

Venue: Dilijan, Armenia

Dates: 14-22 December 2015

Participants: Libor Karvay, Dalibor Jiříček, Šimon Hečko

Participating countries:  Armenia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Romania, Spain, The Netherlands, Ukraine

Project report:

I wake up to another day of the training course, eat my breakfast and go out to explore more about Dilijan city. Today me and my research team don’t have much time for a walk, so we hitch-hike on the first car we see. Everything is great; the Armenian driver is very friendly, shows us the exact location where we are and stops us at the supermarket. Everything okay until the moment when two cashiers at supermarket tell us that we are not at the place where we should be but the driver took us almost somewhere out of the city! Few seconds later we realise what happened and we just ran away from the strange driver. Welcome to “Up and Running” – Traning Course provided by Erasmus+ !

In an international group consisting of friends from Ukraine, Spain, Netherlands, Georgia, Greece, Armenia, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Romania and Czech Republic we are sent out to discover different communities of Dilijan. My group is focused on how to visualize different communities. After the bad experience with hitch-hiking, we finally take a walk and discover a local elementary school, bank and supermarket. We are also looking for a discotheque, or cinema, but can’t find any. It turns out that the last cinema in Dilijan was closed 20 years ago. We are starting to feel like in a ghost-city. But Finally we visit living areas, on the street in front of old soviet-style living houses, there is a small house made from wood, metal plates and paper boxes. Inside we meet 7 old men around a small fire, even if you have winter clothes you still feel the cold. After this experience we realise how the life in Dilijan can also look like.

At the end of the day we present the results of the community mapping with all other teams. When everyone finishes the presentation I realise that only my own visit and close contact with locals can give me a very complex image of Dilijan communities and help me to loose the stereotypes given by media, or other people.

This was one of the strongest experience for me on this project. During one week we had really full program consting of many other activities focused on group building, defining youth work and what are the principles of youth work and many others. I really enjoyed friendly atmosphere from all the parcitipants and trainers. And what I am bringing back home? New friendship, contacts, motivation, and Armenia in my had. But mainly it is the life experience which cant be compared with anything other.

Dalibor Jiříček

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