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“Open your eyes”

From April 27 to May 4 the international youth program “Open your eyes” was held, which was attended by 28 young people aged 16-30, from Armenia, Latvia, Georgia, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Germany.The program has been implemented by the youth ecological NGO ”Yeghvard” in cooperation with the NGO Federation of Youth Clubs of Armenia /FYCA/, Public environmental informationYeghvard Aarhuscenter, in the framework of the ”Youth in Action” program of European Union.
The main goal of the program was to support young people from European countries to learn about the picturesque landmarks of Armenia, to contribute

to the development of creative thinking. The program enabled young people to learn about and get informed about monuments, interesting places and wonders of nature of one of the world’s oldest countries.

During the first two days of the seminar the speakers presented information about the nature monuments and picturesque nature of Armenia through non-formal learning method, for instance about Aghveran, Hankavan, Garni, AghavnadzoradAshtarak. The environmental organizations including activity of Aarhus centers, Aarhus Convention.The participants also had the opportunity to learn about the secrets of photography, basic rules, peculiarities of photographing, photographic camera, etc..

After the training, the participants visited Garni, Aghavnadzor, Hankavan, Ashtarak, Aghavnadzor, as well as they had the opportunity to visit Tsakhkadzor, Lake Sevan and KhorVirap, and to get familiar with the history of that places and peculiarities of the nature, to photograph the sights and wonderful landscapes of the nature.

During the visit to Lake Sevan the organizers introduced problems that Sevan lake has, it is about the actions of the public initiative, particularly “SOS Sevan ” initiative and events carried out by the Armenian Aarhus centres. The participants expressed their concerns and took photo with holding in their hands «SOS Sevan” and «SAVE Sevan” calls on the shore of the Lake.

The program was full of positive energy, amazing impressions, discussions, group activities, intercultural evenings, visits, games, and of course the wonderful photos.From the photos made the participants prepared a calendar of 2015.All calendars in the closing ceremony of the program were handed over to the participants and the organizations they represent as a result of the program. According to the organizers, the program was successful, exceeded all expectations, this program contributed to the development of tourism, particularly the ecotourism and it became a small model of tourism development presented by the young people. The participants left Armenia in expectation of return.

Ruzanna Manyan
Coordinator of Yeghvard Aarhus Center
Translated by Ruzanna Manyan