By: Gaiane Khachatrian
Happy New Year everyone! We welcome 2019 with grateful hearts and open minds as we plan to make lasting impact throughout our community. Our AIWA-SF Board continues to lead with commitment and enthusiasm. In 2019 we will continue to strengthen our existing educational and training initiatives for women and young girls in Armenia, as well as in the Bay Area, opening doors of new opportunities for continued personal and professional success in both communities.
Since the affiliate’s inception, we knew that change would not be easy to achieve in Armenia, but we also knew it would not be impossible. All we needed was a strong community of supporters in diaspora, and committed board members at AIWA–SF. Our dedicated team continues to maintain its enthusiasm and passion in what we do, collaborating with the right partners in Armenia, including Children of Armenia Fund, American University of Armenia, Women Support Center, Synopsis Armenia, Tumo Center, Teach for Armenia, Mer Hooys, PicsArt, Yerevan State University and many more.
I am excited to share our high level 2019 AIWA-SF road map with you all!
2019 INITIATIVES IN ARMENIA:
- We are delighted to launch a new initiative with COAF aimed to empower young girls from rural communities of Armenia through the creation of an after-school Basketball Club for Girls in one of the COAF’s beneficiary villages of Armavir region. There is a general tendency, especially in rural communities, that sports are for boys and usually boys are the ones who attend sports clubs, while girls participate in handicraft, painting or carpentry clubs. Through the creation of the basketball club the young girls will have the opportunity to participation in sports, develop team-building skills, a sense of community, enhance their leadership skills and develop healthy living habits.
- Formalize our commitment to supporting underprivileged children throughout Armenia. As a result of a youth driven fundraiser that raised $30,000, AIWA-SF will begin working with organizations dedicated to supporting and bettering the lives of underprivileged children.
- We are expanding our signature educational initiative! Throughout the years, AIWA-SF has offered academic scholarship with an internship requirement at one of our partner organizations in Armenia. In 2019 we are expanding this to reach more female students at the American University of Armenia and Yerevan State University. The approach intends to provide academic support and real work experience while creating networking opportunities. It has been remarkable to see how impactful our scholarship program has been thus far, we are so excited to further grow and expand it in 2019!
- We continue to support the teenage girls of Mer Hooys program, operating from the Nakashian Children Support Center, empowering them through offering after-school English program to help them learn the global language.
- A focus on Domestic Violence will continue to be an important and growing initiatives for us. We will continue to build upon our relationship with the Women’s Support Center as we focus on advocacy, support and mentor-ship.
- With new leadership in Armenia, we seek to further be a bridge between the Bay Area and Armenia by further develop business and investment opportunities.
Locally, we will continue to hold several events that foster community, inspiration, growth and impact. Thank you for your continued support of our efforts and we hope to see more of all of you in 2019!
The Armenian International Women’s Association is a dynamic global 501(c)3 dedicated to empowerment, education and enrichment. Through many projects and initiatives, AIWA is dedicated to inspiring, empowering and connecting Armenian women worldwide.
AIWA-SF is an affiliate chapter of the Armenian International Women’s Association, the EIN #: 04-3113182. Donations marked for AIWA-SF are routed to the affiliate chapter.
To get involved with the AIWA-SF affiliate, please visit http://www.aiwasanfrancisco.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are grateful for all donations. To help us promote progress, contributions can be mailed to: AIWA-SF 15559 Union Ave #227 Los Gatos CA 95032