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.
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.
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.
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.
I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to volunteer at Orran. I spent my time teaching English to the children, helping with their schoolwork and different side projects they had. I was able to build strong connections with the kids and acted as an additional support system during my time there.
As Armenians, it is our responsibility to put in effort to ensure that our children will have bright and prosperous futures. And that is exactly what everyone at Orran does every day. It offers the children a safe space and works to help them reach their full potential in life. It was truly one of the best experiences I have ever had, and I’m eager to go back in the near future.
– Arpy Assadourian
My volunteering experience started in “Orran” when I was just 13 years old. Everyone welcomed me warmly. It only took me a few days to fall in love with everyone and everything in “Orran”.
“Orran” has been the place, where I have witnessed reciprocal relationships with a high spirit of cooperation. I was encouraged and supported to conduct any projects that I wanted without limiting my ideas. They always come up with alternative solutions that usually push the creative ideas even further for the sake of our precious and bright generation.
Not only the children, but also staff members have been my like-minded friends. No one in “Orran” can simply pass through the corridors without smiling, because the environment there keeps you satisfied all the time.
“Orran” community believes that the age is just a number, if someone wants to change something in their reality. Thank you “Orran” not only for granting me the opportunity to help others to realize their potential, but also to learn from them, gain authentic experience and have impact on the community.
We were one of the lucky ones to volunteer for the Orran Charitable Organization. As students at St. George’s High School, our goal was nothing more than to preach love to children and answer their questions as much as possible. At Orran, we found wonderful children and teenagers from whom we learned so much. Every week we waited impatiently to see the same bright eyes of the Orran children. We got to know each of them personally, loved each of them in a unique way and carry them in our hearts . We were happy to work with the staff of the center, whose goals are to prepare a good future generation.
Helping someone is an indisputable proof of Christian love and devotion. In general, the Armenian Apostolic Church, in particular the St. George’s Theological Seminary, has always encouraged and appreciated every humanitarian initiative. It was on this basis that the friendship of “Orran” seminary was established and we as volunteer ambassadors were fortunate to be a part of it. There is no greater proof for us of the existence of God than the love we have given, and in return received from Orran. The word of Christ is true: “Children are the kingdom of heaven.”
-Hovhaness Avetisyan & Gevorg Karapetian
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