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.

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.” 

Your contribution to our acquirement:

"ICT as a tool for young voices"
The whole staff of "Zartonk-89" NGO wants to inform with pleasure that "ICT as a tool for young voices" project was selected as GlobalGiving's Project of the Month for September 2016.  This selection is very important for us, for which we are thankful to the whole staff of GlobalGiving and, of course, to all our donors.  This donation will be directed to the progress and development of information and communication technology in the Republic of Armenia, as well as to the revelation and solution of community issues.  The potential, engagement and readiness of active and motivated young people from 11 communities of RA will be the basis for all these processes.
"Zartonk-89" NGO have repeatedly implemented social queries, which have help us to understand well the state of communities, the problems there and to find solutions to them.  Meanwhile, our beneficiaries are given the opportunity to say their words to the donors and to thank them both orally and through beautiful posters made by them.  We are planning to contribute to the project in two main directions; through providing with theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as skills to our beneficiaries.  Our young community experts, acquiring knowledge, will conduct meetings on modern digital technology progress and acquirement knowledge in this sphere in their communities sharing with their experience.  Besides, there will be practical trainings, during which our beneficiaries will have the opportunity to make use of digital technology and to practice it.
"Zartonk-89" NGO will conduct regular meetings, seminars both in the organization and remote provinces in order to provide with necessary information and contribution.  We value the young people's opinions and offers and aspiration to be educated, aware and to solve the challenges in their communities.
Vigen Mkrtchyan, the leader of "ICT as a Tool for Young Voices" project, wants to say his word and thank our donors and of course the whole staff of GlobalGiving.

Hello, I am Vigen.  The whole staff of our organization and I want to express our great appreciation and gratitude to you for this great input, which will be directed to the implementation of earth-changing ideas in the world, and particularly in Armenia.  We say with confidence that we will direct this donation to the improvement of ICT capacities and skills of the young people from the regions of RA.  Once again, thank all our donors for always being here for us.  We value your great gesture, which will be the basis in the future for the development and enlargement of this sphere.

The Bonus Day and our progress:

The children are preparing for the Bonus day 1
"Zartonk-89" NGO continues to realize the project "Providing education for 150 children in Armenia" in various communities and villages of the distant regions of RA.  The organization arranged again a visit to Khor Virap community of Ararat region aiming to hear so important opinions and offers of our beneficiaries - children.  The beneficiaries of the project, the volunteers of the organization, the person responsible for the project of Khor Virap community - Astghik and others were present at the meeting.  The meeting with the children was held at the garden, where the children shared with their offers in the fresh air and surrounded with beautiful scenes of the nature.  Each of them had the opportunity to freely express their own opinion related the future course of the project.  Then the person responsible for the project of the community - Astghik, together with the volunteers of the organization, conducted a small painting contest aiming to let the children depict phenomena and symbols characterizing their future profession through the amazing language of painting.  The children were painting with a great enthusiasm and using colored pencils and papers to illuminate their paintings.  That moment was very important for us because it seemed that the great desire of becoming a good specialist (doctor, musician, engineer, designer etc.) and contributing to our society was growing up in them. 
The children are preparing for the Bonus day 2
In the result the children had the opportunity to present their paintings, why they had selected that profession, to ask the questions exciting them.  The representatives of our organization promised the children to conduct such meetings often and provide with popular materials on their professions.  We think that such meetings are very important for children and are aimed at making the children feel the necessity of becoming competent specialist.  At the meeting we presented the children the important Bonus day.  They got informed that it will be held on September 21th and will last from 6:00:01 AM to 23:59:59 PM EDT.  The response of the children was enthusiastic.  They called on our donors to make donations contributing to the project.  Here is Abraham's call to donors.
The call of Abraham
       Hello,

I am Abraham, I live in Khor Virap community in Ararat region.  I want to call on all our donors of our project to make donation on Bonus Day and help my friends and me.  I want to become an engineer and depicted my profession today.  I am very happy that there are people in the world who are ready to help us.

The project summary and our progress:

Ani presented our platform.
Summarizing the "Power of democracy" training-course within "ICT as a Tool for Young Voices" project, "Zartonk-89" NGO wanted again to enthusiastically and responsibly plan the future process and continuation of the project.  Aiming at the engagement of other regional groups and representatives, as well as valuing the significance and relevance of group work, "Zartonk-89" NGO invited a meeting-discussion.  In order to enlarge the frame of "Democratic youth" social platform formed in the result of our activities, Vigen Mkrtchyan - the Project leader, and Ani Melkonyan - the person responsible for the regional project, conducted meetings in such regions of RA, where the project is designed to be realized in the future too.  Again 16-20 years old young people were present at the meeting, who expressed their great interest in the establishment of democratic institutions in Armenia.  Sharing with our experience and acquired results, we presented our steps and future goals for the project continuation and the enlargement of the newly shaped platform to the other beneficiaries.  Ani Melkonyan - the person responsible for the regional project presented the future activities, the importance of selection of the target groups of the project and the mission and goals of the project.  At the meeting our beneficiaries asked their questions and, as future democratic leaders, expressed their great desire and enthusiasm to engage in regional projects.
Ani, who is responsible for the regional projects, will share with her experience and skills in the enlargement and promotion of "Democratic youth" platform.

Teamwork.
Hello,

Teamwork.
I am Ani.  I summarized the "Power of democracy" training-course within "ICT as a Tool for Young Voices" program and presented the "Democratic youth" platform to our young beneficiaries.  It was of my own responsibility to hear people, who were competent and motivated, had their own views on the solution of democracy issue in Armenia.  This meeting was going in a ease and friendly atmosphere, where each opinion and suggestion was heard and definitely was to contribute to the enlargement and reinforcement of our frame in the future.  In the end of the meeting the question forms were distributed amongst the participants, where they had to answer and express their opinion on the issues, which were related to the foundation and development of democracy.  Of course, it was interesting for us to hear the positions of the future democratic young people.  I, as the person responsible for the region projects, aim at the continuation of the project leader Vigen Mkrtchyan because the reaction of the youth was strong, which is the source of our motivation.

«BUILDING AUTONOMY IN RURAL AREAS» Progress Report:










The main objective of the «Building autonomy in rural areas» project was to help and promote the autonomy of young people in 2 regions of the Republic of Armenia and in 2 villages of Nagorno Karabagh (Nagorno Karabagh is also known as Artsakh). The project implemented Zartonk 89 NGO. «Building autonomy in rural areas» project was approved on 01.11.2015, money was transfered by Otto Per Mille Chiesa Valdese on 28.12.15, but Zartonk-89 NGO received it on 01.02.16 so we started immediately the implementation of the project. 

 The duration of the project was 3 months. During the 1st month we carried out the preparatory work, certificate preparation, contacting NGOs in Armenia (Vanadzor, Martuni) and Nagorno Karabagh (Shushi and Tigranakert), spreading open calls in order to inform and select participants considering participant's age, motivation and activity. In Lori region we contacted Zartonk-89 NGO's representative in Vanadzor and «NGO center» Civil Society Development NGO (non-governmental organization) who provided us free working place to realize our 4 day training course. They also helped us to distribute open call of our training course and to select participants. In Gegharkunik region we contacted Zartonk-89 NGO's representative in Martuni and Martuni Infotun, Martuni Women's Community Council (MWCC) NGO who also provided us free working place to implement our 4 day training course. In Nagorno Karabagh (also known as Artsakh) we contacted Artsakh Youth Development Center (AYDC) NGO who provided us free working place and helped to distribute open call in order to select participants for our training course. In each place we had 20 participants, so in 4 place in total we had 80 participants. We implemented 4 day training course in each place.
The 1st day we met with participants, presented our project, modules of our training course, created a positive atmosphere for teamwork and collaboration. We took a time to present that our project was supported with funds from Otto per Mille of the Waldensian Church of Italy. The main objective of our first meeting was creating a climate of confidence and mutual respect between young participants. 2nd day activities were about building autonomy, active citizenship, civic engagement, developing sensitivity and positive critical ability towards themselves and society. 3rd day our main topics were «crisis», «stress» and «conflict», our participants discovered about of origins of those words, had intense discussions and team working, learnt and developed strategies to understand, manage and overcome crisis and stress, how to transform and constructively resolve personal and interpersonal conflicts. 4th day we devoted to learning of different educational, social, learning tools and ways to observe, rise up and find solutions to community related issues (social media, e-learning, discussion groups, etc). In each place in the end of the training course participants received certificates and we had a time for feedback and evaluation of the training course through a distributed questionnaires to fill in, it was anonymous so our participants could freely express their opinions about our 4 day training and about our trainers. Whole training course was based on non-formal methodology. During all the project we were distributing information and photo reports on website of Zartonk-89 NGO, on social media like Facebook page, Facebook group. 


The center «Noyan Tapan» also distributed information and photo reports. Surely we can say that our participants obtained team working skills, they freely expressed their own thoughts, ideas and proposals for future social changes, they developed their sense of autonomy, active citizenship and civic engagement, they learnt how to face and overcome crisis and stress, also how to use different educational, social and learning tools in order to observe, rise up and find solutions in their communities, they established a culture of dialogue. We are sure that they became more autonome, dinamic and initiative to bring positive changes in their life and in the society.