STEPANAKERT — On Sunday, October 14, Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) delegates and guests, under the leadership of AGBU President Berge Setrakian, departed for a three-day trip to the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh (NKR or Artsakh). There, they became acquainted with NKR’s social-economic situation and local AGBU projects, met with public figures, and visited Shushi and Gandzasar.
The highlight of the trip was a meeting with President Bako Sahakyan and members of the NKR government held the next day. Sahakyan welcomed the AGBU delegates, expressed his gratitude for the organization’s work in NKR and provided a thorough status update on the economy, focusing on areas such as agriculture, hydro-electricity, mining and tourism. In turn, Setrakian thanked him for the briefing, his leadership and his focus on building the economy and improving the educational infrastructure.
Both past and future projects were discussed, including a new AGBU complex, composed of 30,000 square feet of land, located in the center of Stepanakert, which is being spearheaded by AGBU in partnership with the American University of Armenia (AUA) and the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies. Through the AUA Extension Program, NKR students will have the opportunity to attend specialized courses at the center that focus on English language improvement and preparation for university entrance exams, specifically the GRE/GMAT and TOEFL. The program will also offer courses in management, tourism development, media technologies and more. The TUMO Center will also play an important role, offering educational experiences to NKR youth interested in creative and broadcast technologies. Additionally, the center will be home to both a chess club and an academy for young musicians. As Setrakian noted, the project will create an attractive environment for Karabagh’s youth to enjoy the opportunities of developing their talents while remaining in their homeland.
The visit culminated on Monday evening by a concert by the Karabagh Chamber Orchestra, the highly talented group which the AGBU founded in 2004 and has supported ever since.