Without relevant education, it is extremely challenging for young Armenians to overcome poverty and contribute to the development of their country.
By Anna Karapetyan*
August 12, 2013—Education has always been important to the people of Armenia, and it remains one of their most dearly held values. For Armenians, education has always implied higher education, and being educated has meant having a university degree.
But for many young people in Armenia, especially those from poor families, higher education is out of reach due to high tuition fees charged by the universities. Without relevant education, it is extremely challenging for young Armenians to overcome poverty and to be able to contribute to the development of their country.
In 2012, UMCOR’s field office in Armenia launched a new project called “Provision of Scholarships to Aregak UCO Clients.” The project aims to increase access to higher education for the children of socially vulnerable clients of Aregak Universal Credit Organization (UCO) by covering tuition fees for their study at higher education institutions in Armenia.
Nare, 19, whose mother has been an Aregak UCO client for about six years, applied for the program. She lives in Kotayk Marz, but decided to come to Yerevan, the capital, to study sociology at Yerevan State University.
“Being the third of five children to attend university, I knew I'd have to find a way to pay for my school expenses. When I first discovered this opportunity, I decided to sign up and give it a try without expecting much,” Nare said.
“This scholarship was the first one I applied for, and after a few weeks passed, I saw my name on the list of finalists,” she continued. “I thought, ‘This is too good to be true!’ I was very glad to hear that I will get a scholarship because this will help me and my family cover my university expenses. I am very grateful for this award!”
After completing her university degree, Nare plans to continue her studies abroad through exchange programs and to find friends all over the world. She will develop a specialization and then return to Armenia, where she hopes to play a useful role in the country’s ongoing development.
“The future is in the hands of young people. The more educated and responsive our youth are, the better the world we can build,” she said.
Your gift to Armenia Emergency, UMCOR Advance #250225, will support programs like this one that are making a difference in Armenia.
*Anna Karapetyan is a program officer in UMCOR’s field office in Armenia.