Having just wrapped up day 3 of Camp Vanadzor, I can already surely say that volunteering in the AYF summer programs is what every young Armenian diasporan should try at least once in a lifetime. As someone who has left Armenia at a very young age, I had never had the opportunity to experience Armenia fully, to meet and interact with my compatriots living here and spend more time with them ever since I moved to Egypt. Finally this year I decided that it was time to participate in one of the summer volunteering programs and contribute to motherland by teaching the new generation, the future of Armenia, what I had learnt in the past years away from home. Little did I know that I was going to learn from them far more than I taught them.
My fellow volunteer friends; unger Aren, unger Garen and I are supervising the smallest kids (9-10 year olds). We have almost 100 campers this year from our age group and that puts us under a big responsibility since they are usually the naughtiest and the biggest trouble makers. However, thanks to our “oknagan varichner” (helping counselors) from Armenia, it has become easier to get in hold of and control the overwhelming amount of kids.
This morning after playing some games, we lectured our little campers about Artsakh, the “Artsakhian Herosamard” and the April 2016 war. You could see the excitement and the patriotism in their little shiny eyes when we spoke to them about our brave soldiers who protected our borders. When they raised their little fists and shook them while singing Kedashen, Akhpers U Yes, Baterazm Enk Gnum, you could clearly tell how every single one of them was ready to go and protect motherland when there would be the need for it, regardless of their very young age. It is at moments like this when you feel how powerful our nation is when united and gathered around one core idea; protecting our motherland, Hayasdan.
Finally, I’d like to thank AYF Canada for gathering Armenian youth from all over the world, bringing us together and giving us all the opportunity to experience motherland like never before!