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Volunteer Messages

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Volunteers are the backbone of what we do at Orran since they give us the most precious gift: the gift of time and commitment to teach our students various skills, introduce them to new concepts, and expose them to new cultures. 

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We want to celebrate our volunteer Armo Toumasian who has spent the last one and a half years as the woodcraft workshop leader. He has been the driving force behind our woodcraft workshop and twice a week, our students run downstairs to engage in craftsmanship and simply enjoy the company of Mr. Armo. Armo’s life has been marked by numerous relocations, from his birthplace in Iran to living in the US with his family. In 2019, he made Armenia his home and found immense joy in being part of our community. 

 

Armo holds a deep affection for Orran, viewing it as a close-knit family. He appreciates the seamless blend of volunteers and employees, all working together. In addition to his time, Armo and his friends contribute through various donations, firmly trusting Orran to allocate every contribution where it’s needed most. He says, “I’ll be here as long as there is even one student who is eager to learn.”

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J’nae Varela is a Youth Development Peace Corps Volunteer from Kansas City, Missouri. She joined Orran Vanadzor last year and she is going to volunteer here for two years. “I am blessed to have been given this opportunity to volunteer in Armenia and have enjoyed every moment thus far,” says J’nae.  

Her favorite part is to share American culture with Armenian students and to learn more about Armenian culture. She has organized fun activities to help students learn employability skills, held dance parties, taught new games, helped with English, and is excited to continue working with the kids of Orran in the next year and a half.

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Sharon Vartanian is 65 and from San Francisco California. She is half-Armenian, and this is her first time in Yerevan. Volunteering has been a big part of her life, but this experience holds a special place in her heart because she is honoring her sister, Carol Vartanian, who passed away last year. “She would do this type of volunteer work, and I am keeping her memory alive while doing something she would love.” With her MA degree in education, Sharon helps our youngest students to do their tasks and organizes fun activities. She brings her enthusiasm and love towards children. Sharon is planning to continue her volunteering journey in Gyumri and Vanadzor. 

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Dr. Mayuri Dutta is from Kalkata, India. She traveled to Armenia to attend her daughter’s graduation ceremony and has decided to use her stay time to volunteer at Orran. She is the National Coordinator of Health Sciences in India for high schools. In her professional life, Dr. Dutta serves as the National Coordinator of Health Sciences for high schools in India, collaborating with the central board of education. Her work involves teacher training, and consulting for the government on administration and experiential learning, and she even achieved three Guinness records in 2021. Dr. Mayuri travels a lot, and wherever she goes, the education system is the first thing she is interested in since she has spent over 41 years in that field. Driven by her passion for education, she is excited to return to Armenia in the future, believing in its promising prospects.

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In October, Nyree Seropian joined Orran and has since been passionately teaching English to various groups of children. Her teaching approach focuses on interactive and communicative activities, ensuring that learning becomes a joyful and engaging experience. With a rich teaching background spanning over 17 years in both the United States and the United Kingdom, Nyree has worked extensively with high school students and younger age groups, honing her expertise. Volunteering holds immense significance in Nyree’s life. While work often revolves around financial and career motivations, volunteering allows her to pursue what she genuinely loves and enjoys. According to her, when monetary compensation is taken out of the equation, the true pleasure of work and the invaluable experiences gained come to the forefront. 

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It was an honor to serve as a Peace Corps Community and Youth Development Volunteer at Orran Vanadzor’s Center. I deeply respect Orran’s history and vision. It is truly inspiring to see the beautiful space and the vital programs that the center provides children and the elderly. I will never forget the sense of awe I had when I first visited the space and witnessed the wonderful activities taking place. Orran truly empowers youth and families every day. I admire the passion and kindness of the staff who welcomed me and became like family. It has been a true joy to work with the kind, resilient, and talented children in Orran. Volunteering at Orran’s Vanadzor Center has been a gift and I will always treasure my time here.

– Ani Alexandrian

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Արդեն քանի-քանի տարի,
Տալիս ես սեր ու քնքշություն,
Ծնողական ջերմություն։

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Տուն ու տանիք մեզ համար
Դու մեր հույս ու հենարան
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Ջերմ ու բարի մեր Օրրան։

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Քանի-քանի սերունդների
Հոգ ես տարել մեծացրել
Հաջողության հասցրել։

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Սիրել, ներել, վստահել
Ընկերոջը միշտ օգնել
Բարի գործեր կատարել
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