Heifer Armenia in cooperation with Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) and Development Principles NGO (DP)
This project will improve the socio-economic conditions of 85 socially vulnerable families in a cluster of five Armenian villages, namely Dalarik, Hushakert, Lernagog, Karakert, and Myasnikian. All communities are located in Armavir marz. Animal husbandry development, dairy production, and rural youth development will be the projectâ€™s primary goals. The project will provide seventeen families in each of five villages with gravid heifers (one per family) to establish and run small scale farms. Additionally, the farmers will receive theoretical and practical trainings on advanced farm and animal management, as well as technical assistance (vet medicine), which will enable families to increase food production, improve their nutrition and ensure food diversity. After a three-year period, the original recipient families will pass on the gift of 85 gravid heifers of good quality to another 85 families in the same or other villages. The project will also empower disadvantaged rural youth in the target villages, by establishing Youth Clubs in all five project villages. Training and project activities will focus on the following six topics of youth leadership and education: agribusiness, ecology, health education, civic education, logics, public relations and media. A minimum of 350 teenagers will directly benefit from enrollment in extracurricular activities at the community Youth Clubs. This part of the project will include rural youth development trainings for adult leaders and youth club trainers, as well as trainings for the youth. Youth Club participants will participate in small projects such as the Little Farmers Project, ecological police, vermiculture farm and bio-humus production, village youth parliament, health school and youth club newsletter. The Little Farmers project, which involves raising calves, will provide youth club members an opportunity to acquire practical and theoretical knowledge, skills and experience in animal raising that will help them develop their own small agribusinesses in the future, as well as develop a sense of responsibility for their work and the ability to plan future development projects. The Little Farmers project will also give the families of participating youth the opportunity to secure food, by organizing dairy production, and generate income, by marketing dairy products. Equally beneficial, the Youth Clubsâ€™ ecological project vermiculture farm will produce bio-humus from manure collected from the Little Farmerâ€™s calves farming project. The bio-humus will then be distributed to youth club members and project participants to be used on their own family land plots. In addition, the youth clubs will sell some of the bio-humus to members of the community, thus ensuring a small income for the youth clubs, while promoting organic farming practices in the region. By participating in this ecological project, Youth Club members will learn about vermiculture, organic farming and non-waste management. The project as a whole will provide Youth Club members with the opportunity to develop skills to solve community development challenges, concerning economics, health, education and social life. Ultimately, by the end of the project, the rural youth of these five Armenian villages will be better positioned to enter adulthood and contribute to a country of young democracy and rapid economic development.