“Non-formal youth work and formal youth studies” international four-day conference was finished in Yerevan, in which representatives from research centers, universities and youth non-governmental organizations of Portugal, Belgium, Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Belarus, Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia took part.
The conference was organized by the Federation of Youth Clubs of Armenia (FYCA) with the support of the European Union Erasmus+ project and within the framework of the long-term International Youth Studies: Curricula, Distance Learning Course and Open Educational Materials – InYouS program.
The participants of the conference conducted researches in their countries and presented them in the formal part of the program. In the second informal part of the conference, participants and youth workers shared their experiences and stories related to the existing youth work history in their countries. The preliminary version of the curriculum of the "International Youth Work" educational program was discussed and clarified the first draft version of it.
Atom Mkhitaryan, the President of the Federation of Youth Clubs of Armenia, highlighted the need for a long-term youth educational program, substantiating that it was aimed at “raising the awareness of youth work and non-formal education’s recognition, with this regard, a master's program as well as a distance learning course will be developed. All materials will be open and accessible to students of higher education institutions and all interested young people and youth workers."
At the same time, representatives of 13 countries took part in two historic events in Armenia. The first was to eternalize the Armenian Genocide victims` commemoration and pay tribute by visiting Tsitsernakaberd as well as Armenian Genocide museum, where they were emotionally affected.
The second important event, which surprised the Europeans, was the youth movement that established the concept of changing the government and was called the Velvet Revolution, a manifestation of civil disobedience without weapons and violence.
Participants argued that these events make Armenia more democratic. This means that civil society in Armenia has its own unique role, which should become a role model to be learned from.
The participants also had a chance to visit the Holy Etchmiadzin and to record that Armenia is the first Christian country in the world. The next steps of the International Youth Research Project will be implemented in Georgia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Belgium.