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Story and photos by Knarine Ghazanchyan | Program Coordinator | Heifer Armenia
Translated by Liana Hayrapetyan | Communication and PR Officer | Heifer Armenia
Heifer Armenia’s 29th rural youth club was established this year in the village of Debed, where Heifer Armenia has been since 2009.
Debed is located in the picturesque gorge of the Debed River, which gave the name to the village. It is the natural boundary between Armenia and Georgia in the Lori region, rich in lush green forests. Years ago the village was called Khachi gjugh, or village of Cross, due to the area’s abundance of crosses. Still today there remain old sites around the village with hundreds of khachkars, or cross-stones, and cross tombstones.
Heifer Armenia started projects in this community where cattle farming, pig breeding and beekeeping are the main occupations of the villagers. Participant families received cows and beehives from Heifer Armenia in a partnership project with the Fuller Center for Housing Armenia. Many of the beneficiary families have already fulfilled their Passing on the Gift® obligation, becoming donors themselves for other families in need.
Starting this spring, the village youth became Heifer Armenia project participants when they enrolled in the newly established youth club. They now have the opportunity to attend extracurricular classes covering seven topics, or directions: agriculture, ecology, business education, civic education, journalism, logical thinking and health education.
Members of agriculture, ecology and business education directions will receive investments to enable them to put into practice the knowledge and skills gained at the club. Agriculture direction members received calves to take care of and raise. Ecology group members were given fruit trees to plant, and Business direction members received small seed grants of $100 to develop business plans.
At the moment there is nothing else to do but wish good luck to the newly established club and hope for interesting lessons for the students: future farmers, ecologists, journalists, doctors, lawyers, businessmen or simply educated and socially active members of society.
Learn how you can be a part of the exciting changes in Armenia through Heifer International.