By Tamara Babaian
YEREVAN — Armenians Forward Together is a Forum that will take place in Yerevan, Armenia this year on August 12-14 in the Ibis Hotel located in the center of the capital. Barring COVID-related emergencies, and with full commitment to health and safety, the forum will take place in-person with some virtual participation. The purpose of the forum is to facilitate all-Armenian collaboration in strengthening and development of our Motherland.
The idea of the Armenians Forward Together Forum originated in the immediate aftermath of the Artsakh war of 2020, when it became obvious that many people in the diaspora are looking for ways to get involved in the rebuilding and development of Armenia and Artsakh. For our generation, the challenges facing our nation have never been greater. Financial contributions notwithstanding, many Armenians living abroad wish to put their knowledge and skills towards some worthy cause, working together with our compatriots in Armenia and Artsakh. Yet, for many of us there is no clear way to go about it. While there are a great number of organizations and individuals selflessly and quietly doing amazing work in Armenia and from abroad, it is, however, far from obvious how an individual can learn about their priorities and needs, and how to partner with these organizations. This is the need that the forum is aiming to address.
To give participants the opportunity to find a project in which they choose to be involved, the forum will include a day of short presentations by organizations, describing their work and outlining their plans for involving new members. Presenting organizations that have already committed their participation come from a variety of domains: healthcare, education, community development, and others.
The second type of event that will be held at the forum is a thematic workshop, which is an opportunity for the workshop organizers and participants to define their own goals and plans together. For example, one of the currently proposed workshops is aiming to define new ways of providing educational and mentorship opportunities to the youth living in Armenian regions. This workshop, titled “Delivering Online and Offline Classes for Youth in Armenian Regions” is proposed by the MEM Social-Educational Community Organization of Armenia. Another workshop will address the problem of matching the needs of Armenian healthcare system with the resources that can be provided by the professional medical associations and individuals from the diaspora. Our website has a list of workshops proposed so far, and it is being updated with new proposals regularly.