Zartonok-89 NGO

About Us:

"Zartonk-89” is a non-governmental organization, which operates throughout the Republic of Armenia founded in 1989 and registered as an NGO with the Ministry of Justice in 1996. In 1988 after the earthquake, when the north part of Armenia was ruined and also Kharabagh war about 2400 children were parentless and the organization began to assist those children solving all the problems. Since 1989, Zartonk-89 has been actively engaged in the promotion of health, education, environment and social assistance for needy segments of the rural and urban children and teenagers in Armenia.  The active support and creativity of our partners and local volunteers have made it possible to extend its presence to other regions of Armenia; to date there are branches of our NGO all over the country.

Mission:

        "Zartonk -89" is a charitable organization that seeks  educational, social, health, environmental and charitable projects to support vulnerable children, adolescents and young adults with the mental, physical and spiritual development and life improvement. Our mission is to improve the lives and protect the rights of parentless and needy children, teenagers and youth in Armenia.  In order to achieve our mission, we implement various educational, social, and health projects focused on improving the mental, physical and social skills of children and teenagers and on building their self-esteem. The organization also assists rural and urban communities of the country. In addition, we have implemented several development projects that benefit entire communities. The age group of people that our organization wants to reach out to mainly consists of youth between the ages of 14-20 years old.

Objectives:

• To help the most vulnerable groups of children, adolescents and youth in regards to education, health and social aspects of accumulated problems.
• Implement educational, social, health, environmental protection, community development, as well as contributing to the strengthening of programs.
• To promote intercultural learning and dialogue, as well as the development of the culture of peace, tolerance and the spread of the world.
• Develop cooperation and networks between international and local organizations.
• To contribute to finding a solution to the problems faced by youth as well as legal awareness.
• To contribute to the establishment of democracy throughout the country and improve the people's living conditions.

• To develop and strengthen the capacity of the volunteer sector in Armenia.

Your contribution to our achievements:

Dear donors, our partners, it's our pleasure to inform you that Zartonk-89 NGO has been awarded as TOP-RANKED and VETTED organization of 2016 by GlobalGiving as a sign of gratitude and our hard work. Our team highly appreciates this special gesture and wishes to share the success, achievements, and results that we recorded in this project. 
The main purpose of the project is to support the vulnerable and working children of the remote marzes of the Republic of Armenia to acquire basic education by using our specially designed course plan, also create free and unconstrained environment where children can communicate with their peers, acquire new friends and fully integrate into the society.
In the distant marzes of the Republic of Armenia being in vulnerable condition, children do manual hard work in their communities and villages, and as a result, they miss the opportunity of acquiring basic education which is a very important factor in the process of exploration and development of children's intellectual abilities. They become unconfident, self-contained, depressed, they don't get motivated to acquire knowledge which is essential for the rest of their lives.     
Dear donors, your donations were directed in the implementation of providing basic knowledge to our target group of children.
Our regional representatives conducted courses in their communities using non-formal educational methodology through interactive games.
Children were participating in the educational section with great enthusiasm and were asking questions about topics which greatly interested them.
In order to make the course more interactive, our specialists used presentations which gave more descriptive explanation to each topic.
This time the beneficiaries had opportunities to get basic knowledge about technological and digital means and to explore the modern information technologies, and by selecting as a tool the required information about different spheres, such as mathematics, physics, geography, history, etc. As a result, our target group reached to the conviction that one can get knowledge also from the internet. They were promised to learn foreign languages in the nearest future, so they can get knowledge also from various foreign literature.
By analyzing and examining our beneficiaries upcoming steps, their disposition of this program, their enthusiasm and expectations, we came to conclusion that in the future stages of the implementation of the project positive trends would be registered in distant communities, the number of participants will increase in our target group and in the nearest future we hope that the project will spread in all the villages and communities of all the distant marzes of the Republic of Armenia. We appreciate your support and your donations which got directed to the process of implementation of these essential steps.
Please find presented Zempira's story and her message to our donors.
Hello, I am Zempira. I love in Arapi community. From this course, I acquired knowledge which gives me power and motivation. I liked when our trainers taught us the basic computer and internet skills, how to search for books and information about the spheres we are interested. During my free time, I like drawing and sewing. I hope that the acquired knowledge will help me to become the best specialist in the field which I'll choose.

Zartonk-89 NGO and NO HATE SPEECH MOVEMENT:

Zartonk- 89 NGO continues its active participation in No Hate Speech Movement in Armenia. The volunteers of our organization conducted a meeting with our beneficiaries in the village Khor Virap of the Ararat region, during which they presented the movement to them and certainly the importance of the movement to the further activities of our organization. The children made small posters named NO HATE SPEECH with pleasure, and expressed great interest to be integrated into this movement also in future.
Vigen, who is the leader of youth projects of our organization, presented the importance and the need of the voluntary work during an interview with children and promised them to organize such kind of activities regularly.




The role of the active youth in our organization:

Zartonk-89 NGO wants to inform our donors, volunteers, beneficiaries that our organization includes the presentation of No HATE SPEECH Movement in the world during the conducted seminars and discussions, how one can get involved in this movement and of course to increase the rate of the involved young people. All the staff members, the regional executives, and volunteers are present at the meetings.

The staff members of our organization after participating in seminars, trainings, dialogues of local, international and European standards organize meetings during which the share with their experience, acquired knowledge and skills. This step is very important and responsible for us as due to it we create free environment, where the youth can express their ideas and suggestions, and of course get acquainted with different programs and events.
Our organization has frequently implemented various projects about human rights, democracy, and freedom of speech, pluralism, tolerance both in Yerevan and in different regions of the republic of Armenia.

The trainings have been implemented through non- formal education methodology. As a target, we have selected those young people who are motivated, active and want to get involved in the process of development of democratic institutions in our country. We have also come up with online initiatives including all the regions of the republic of Armenia.

During the recurrent meeting, the members of our organization: Astghik and Vigen presented the conducted programs, the results which were enlisted in Monitoring & Evaluation section.

Vigen, who participated in International Intercultural dialogue conducted in Ethnomir center of the Russian Federation, shared his knowledge and skills which he acquired during the meeting with the attendees and promised to come up with new suggestions and initiatives in the nearest future, which will help to increase the wide involvement of all the members and volunteers of Zartonk-89 NGO in NO HATE SPEECH movement both in local and in European standards.

Your Huge Contribution to Our Success:

During the training
Dear donors and partners, we would like to inform you that the “ICT as a tool for young voices” program has been selected as GlobalGiving’s Project of the Month for September 2016 as innovative, high-impact effect. In this report, we want to share with our news, success and achievements we had during implementation of the program.
The project aims to promote the involvement of the youth of the Republic of Armenia in the development of their communities, to develop their skills to identify community problems and find solutions choosing the modern technology as a tool and a platform.
Being in socially vulnerable condition, the youth of the distant regions of RA, having noticeable lack of knowledge and skills in journalism, mass media, IT, most of them cannot claim and inform the society and share their problems. Some of them get disappointed and leave their communities. As a result, the youth becomes more passive and the community problems become hidden.
   Dear donors, your donations were directed towards the implementation of training a new generation of young journalists.
Our participants with the ICT logo
The participants present their work
In various communities of the Republic of Armenia we carried out training in non-formal methodology which was entitled “Young Experts.” The training aimed to boost their skills in journalism, analytics and creativity. Develop analytical mind, promote the development of free speech and thinking ability and which is most important to master the main principles of journalism and the progress of the modern technologies.
Active and highly motivated young people form 14-20 years old were selected as a target who want to be involved in the development of their communities. During the meetings our beneficiaries had opportunity to ask their questions to our leading specialists and of course suggest real solutions during discussions and debates. As a result, “Young Experts” virtual platform was created, where the youth can freely communicate, ask the questions concerning them online and receive professional replies. During the meetings our participants were given shirts with ICT logo which reflected the idea of being one team better.
By analyzing and examining the further actions of the youth in distant regions and the condition of the distant regions we came to conclusion that positive changes are expected during the coming stages of the project, a clear plan has been developed, which will be the guidance when completing effective and correct community research. 
Mary shares her creative story
 We appreciate that you support us and your donations got addressed to the implementation of this very important plan.
The following is Mary’s creative story and message addressed to all our donors.
Hello, I’m Mary. I live in Vanadzor community. During my free time I like painting. I painted Lui, a 16 years old boy who also lives in my community. Lui wants to solve the problems of our community. He is a strong boy and he never gets disappointed. During this training Lui and me have learnt how to identify the community problems. We are sure that in the nearest future we’ll live in a better and democratic society. Dear donors, in our country we are strong together and your donations help and will help us to live in a place where the freedom of speech, democracy and patience reign.

The Giving Tuesday and our progress:

The children are preparing for the Giving Tuesday.
   Zartonk-89 NGO continues to implement “Providing education for 150 children in Armenia” project in different communities and villages of the distant regions of Armenia. The organization has adopted an important tradition which is to involve our beneficiaries in various holidays and events. Participating in such meetings children seem to become more active, determined and which is the most important they become motivated.
Due to your donation this time our staff visited Pokr Vedi with the regional representatives of the project, volunteers, and trainers.
The children, participating in the meeting, were looking forward to our arrival with great excitement, enthusiasm and expectation which proves the small posters made by our
The children are preparing for the Giving Tuesday
beneficiaries as a sign of gratitude to donors, the staff of GlobalGiving, to all good and kind people and organizations in their words.
The meeting with children took place in the school yard where they enjoyed the beauty and the colors of the nature and they could again freely express their ideas, suggestions and remarks, which will promote the continuation and advance of the project. We value the skills of creativity and the talent. Providing them with drawing and writing utensils, they developed their drawing skills which we think is the best way to express an idea. Similar meetings establish positive sides and characters in their psychology. And that is the guarantee of a healthy and strong society.
In the second part of the meeting we presented them the Giving Tuesday international day.
By listening and learning about it children started to share with their stories and their preferences and some of them, for example Knarik and Andranik, directed their speech to donors.
The children are preparing for the Giving Tuesday
Please find presented little Knarik’s and Andranik’s speech: “Hello, we are Knarik and Andranik. We are good friends. We live in Pokr Vedi village. We love the life with both its dark and light sides. Today we’re preparing for Giving Tuesday and we believe that there are many kind people who will help us and become our heroes of the day. We have a power which is our knowledge, we have hope for the happy future.
Please do you donation and support us.

Learning from failures is the way to go further:


As Exupéry said, children are flowers born with their knobs down.  Exactly form that moment they need protection and care.  Only due to that they will have healthy and happy childhood.  In addition to this, our children need proper and measured upbringing.
Learning from failures.
Our organization was trying to overcome poverty and illiteracy in 10 regions of Armenia offering 150 working children to take part in special trainings and obtain basic education under working circumstances.
     Basic education was designed for the child that’s why very simple material was chosen.  However, there were also complicated themes, which were not mastered by children immediately.  That's why the in addition to the material of basic education, interactive games were conducted, through which easy and interesting representation of the basic educational material became possible. 
We admit that our first failure was connected with non-proportion and large-volume of the educational material.
There are some general requirements distinguished by our organization while conducting the games for the basic education.  They contribute to the development of thinking, enlarge their outlook.  There are some points in games that should be considered, however our organization had some failures in those points.  Those points are the followings:
During the lesson.
-the game should be conducted, leaded, interfered in case of necessity, but they should not be oppressed
-each participant should have the opportunity to express initiative
-the principles of freedom and voluntary should be primary in the games; there should not be any imposing
-the content, rules and conditions of the game should be clear and comprehensible for children.
During the group work with children we distinguished some points that are some of our failures and will definitely lead us during the future process of the project:
-to choose a comfortable room for the group work implementation.  It is not desirable to have many things there, which can distract the children's attention.
In case of possibility, to choose comfortable chairs.  The children are not desired to sit around tables, they are better to sit in round
-it is desired to prepare all the material before the meeting
-to pick up «Do not disrupt» signboard before the meeting, to warn children on secrecy, which means not to tell the speech of group participants to other people out of the group
-to encourage children to speak about their feelings and to present their experience
-to help children to take responsibility for their behave
The child feels satisfaction when she/he studies and works with pleasure.  When there is a comfortable environment in the group, the participants work with confident and seek to learn and create.  Games are one of the most effective methods to create such environment.
Individual work with children.
Our trainers conducting group activities have to have appropriate preparedness, and it is important to remember while working with children that they are more sensible and vulnerable, than adults.  Group work is a very powerful influence method, which can be effective, but also can make emotional pain and strong feelings.  That's why trainer managing the children group, should have group work experience and continuously increase his/her professional abilities.
Non-engagement of games and exercises having great refreshing influence in the project is also a failure as children got tired of learning process fast and needed refreshing.  We are planning also to add refreshing and animating games in the curriculum, which will contribute to focusing attention of the children.
     The limit of the number of children
Many children wanted to participate, however the number of project participants was limited and the money would not be enough to engage more children.  We do not consider this fact as a failure as our organization is going to invest its whole capacity to contribute to the continuousness of the project and engagement of new children.
In many regions area was an issue, and regional group managers have tried to solve that issue by conducting lessons in the open air.
Our failure in this is connected with non-engagement of psychologists in some stages of the project.
One more issue is to be distinguished.  The teachers are only 5-7 years older than the participants and they also need education and self-perfection.  They lack experience and retraining and try to fill that gap with the help of consult with the other members of the organization.  However, only advice would not help as they should also be good pedagogues to understand the participants well.  For example, there was a boy amongst the project participants in one of our regions, who was very aggressive and maybe had psychological problems.  Psychological skills were necessary to work with him, and the trainer could master them only in case of passing retraining.  In order to solve this problem special course with the engagement of psychologists were conducted.
In other region we had a failure again as the trainers were boys and had chosen only boys as project participants.  This brought to gender inequality and did not ensure engagement of two sexes.  This problem was solved during the second stage by engaging representatives of both sexes.
One of the most important moments of the relationship between trainer and child is the ease communication and sharing between them.  Setting such relationships and reaching open conversations require time, persistence and understanding.  Trainers should provide time to have time with each child individually, especially, when there is a necessity to speak about the problems exciting children.
Definitely we may admit responsibility as the obstacles aroused later could be considered.  However, nothing is ideal and, of course, seeking for perfection should not stop.
Teamwork.

One may continuously learn from false and failures and our organization doesn't miss any opportunity to learn and become perfect.  Our failures taught us to be more reasonable and attentive while implementing the projects and to contribute to the retraining of the trainers in a great part.
    Now, while implanting the other stages of the project, we are using all that we have learned from our failures.  We are conducting special trainings with the trainers, prepare them psychologically in order that they implement easily and effectively the courses with children.  We are adding many new games and exercises as the project gives non-formal education.  The trainers also pass special courses - “Facilitation skills” in order to be able to work skillfully with children. 
At the end, we want to remember the popular idea of Coco Chanel:
“Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.”