PH International

Yerevan Office

Armenia Community Action and Linkages for Legal Socialization

The purpose of Armenia CALLS is to support legal socialization reform by developing creative and proactive community-based models that 1) support Armenian communities in preventing juvenile delinquency through social justice activities for Armenian youth in coordination with the Armenian Police, schools, and communities and 2) contribute to a fundamental shift within the police, institutions administering justice, and community toward the use of alternative justice approaches for juveniles.

 

As its name indicates, Armenia CALLS is a call to action with an emphasis on developing a community’s sense of responsibility for its youth, leveraging resources to sustain local planning, preparing and engaging police officers as key assets in that process, and supporting the Ministry of Justice in its efforts to develop alternatives to imprisonment – especially important in reducing recidivism among youth. 

 

PH proposes a program that will achieve this purpose and address key concerns by building upon more than a decade of Armenia experience in community policing and support for crime prevention, juvenile justice, reparative justice approaches, youth leadership and civic engagement. Armenia CALLS emphasizes local initiatives, underscoring the responsibility and assets of local communities to better meet the needs of their youth through supported partnerships, collaboration and social initiatives. CALLS also prepares law enforcement, court actors, local organizations and the general public for effective cooperation between Armenian Police, youth, families, schools and community stakeholders on initiatives that help young people develop cognitive, social and emotional competence for preventing violence.

Armenia CALLS is funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

 

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English Access Microscholarship Program


The purpose of the English Access Microscholarship Program is to make the study of English more accessible to adolescents from an economically disadvantaged background and is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Armenia. In addition to working on their language skills, the participants of the program become familiar with the aspects of US culture and develop deeper understanding of current issues in North American society. Greater sensitivity to cultural differences, coupled with the acquired language skills, enable the participants to take advantage of the opportunities that had previously been unavailable to them.

Throughout 2012-14 the program worked with 60 economically-underprivileged students aged 14-18 in 3 regional sites of Armenia (Nor Hachn, Dilijan and Chambarak), providing after-school and summer English classes and enrichment activities at no cost to the students and enhancing English language skills thereby developing increased self-confidence, stronger critical thinking skills, and increased opportunities for study or employment. Throughout 2014-16 PHI continued the program in Nor Hachn and Chambarak, and launched the program in Goris as well. In November of 2015 the program got extended in 2 new regional sites - the towns of Yeghvard and Armavir, thus reaching out to 160 economically-underprivileged students aged 13-15. 

PH International works with local schools and the general community in mentioned 3 sites to provide after-school English language instruction (150 hours annually) and enrichment activities through summer camps. Summer schools run six hours a day for five days and provide students with English and American culture training and recreational activities.

During enhancement activities the students will explore concepts and practices on leadership, civic activism, power of mobilizing community resources, meaningful uses of social media tools, project design and management - all these aim to boost their personal growth and development.

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Past Programs

Armenia School Connectivity Programs

From 2000-2007, PH International implemented three interrelated school connectivity programs in Armenia, all funded by the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The first program, Armenia Connectivity – 2000 (AC2K), laid the groundwork for expanded internet access through an assessment of the country’s ICT needs in the educational system followed by launching of phase 1 of a school connectivity master plan. Within the framework of this program, PH International brought together many organizations and private donors already engaged or motivated to invest in ICT projects for Armenia and built a demonstration network of 24 Internet-connected secondary schools from the capital city of Yerevan and few closely neighboring regions. This demonstration project let to two subsequent grants in support of the Armenia School Connectivity Program (ASCP), which reached out across the country to create a vibrant network of 330 secondary schools with an Internet Computer Center (ICC). The program recruited over 600 ICC staff and trained them in computer literacy essentials, Web Design and Network Administration. The ICC supervisors then conducted outreach activities and arranged information literacy programs for the local community. Additionally, in order to expand Internet accessibility to traditionally under-served and isolated communities, PH initiated the Mobile Internet Lab project. The first project of its kind in the former Soviet Union, the Mobile Internet Lab was a modified flatbed truck equipped with 5 workstations, a printer, a scanner, a digital camera and satellite connection, the primary purpose of which was to ride to rural regions of Armenia, offering cycles of basic computer and Internet literacy to the schools and community members of remote villages. ASCP empowered thousands of Armenian students, educators, administrators and community members with Internet access, modern information communication technologies, online tools management skills, leadership capacity and cross-cultural experiences. It also supported the partner U.S. schools in globalization of their classrooms through technology-enhanced cultural US-Armenia reciprocal exchanges embracing numerous educational projects, training activities, seminars, workshops, and community initiatives.

In the program’s final years its emphasis was on ensuring sustainability of the new ICCs. PH worked with Armenia’s government, schools and communities to introduce new policies and appropriate practices to ensure a successful transition of the program infrastructure and resources from an externally funded and administered program to being wholly supported and administered in Armenia by Armenians. In addition, PH help establish the “Harmony" Information Technologies and Education Development Foundation, an independent Armenian NGO comprised of the ASCP Technical Department staff. This organization continues to work with the Armenian government to ensure ongoing technical support for schools and other projects. In July of 2007, PH International successfully transferred the program infrastructure to the National Center for Educational Technologies (NaCET), the entity that the Armenian Ministry of Education and Science officially authorized to coordinate all ICT related major activities. The network, expanded with more schools and educational resources, effectively continues to serve Armenia’s education system.

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CJC Support-UNICEF/ZANG



From 2011-13, UNICEF, within its 3-year EU-funded juvenile justice program called “Reaching Critical Mass: Consolidation of Juvenile Justice Systems Reforms against Torture and other Forms of Ill-Treatment of Children in Former Soviet Countries”, partnered with PH International to provide interim funding support for Community Justice Centers (CJCs) in Armenia. Eleven CJCs, created and maintained by local Armenian groups with support from PH International, were created as part of the ZANG legal socialization program.

  1. Yerevan (capital area)
  2. Vanadzor (Lori region)
  3. Alaverdi (Lori region)
  4. Gyumri (Shirak region)
  5. Ijevan (Tavush region)
  6. Chambarak (Gegharkunik region)
  7. Talin (Aragatsotn region)
  8. Kapan (Syuniq region)
  9. Echmiadzin (Armavir region)
  10. Metsamor (Armavir region)
  11. Artashat (Ararat region)

These centers pursue programming that is deeply rooted in alternative justice theory. While most approaches to juvenile justice focus on punishing or treating delinquent youth, this theory emphasizes restorative justice and seeks to involve the entire community in rehabilitating offenders and holding them accountable for their behavior. By bringing together victims, offenders, families, and other key stakeholders in a variety of settings, restorative justice helps offenders understand the implications of their actions and provides an opportunity for them to establish a positive reconnection to the community. The CJC specialists (usually a psychologist, a person with formal education training background, and a social worker), law enforcement officers and community members operating the CJCs constitute a Restorative Board which develops rehabilitation plans for delinquency cases referred to the centers by the community and law enforcement officers on local level partnering with the ZANG Legal Socialization Program. The CJCs have proven to be a successful and constructive strategy for combating and correcting juvenile delinquency already identified and reported on a community or police level. They have been at the center of many local and international reports and have always received positive acclaim.

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Community Connections Forecast Armenia

2005-11 Final Report (.pdf)

The long-running Community Connections program was administered in Armenia by PH International and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The program promoted public diplomacy, economic growth and the development of civil society in Armenia and Eurasia through an exchange of experiences, culture and values among program participants, American families, host businesses and local communities.

CC served as a practical internship program, combining seminars, workshops, site visits, and meetings with American professionals with hands-on practical internships. Participants typically stayed from three to five weeks in the United States and lived with American host families.

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DOTCOM in Armenia

The Developing Online Tools for Community Outreach and Mobilization (DOTCOM) program engaged media-savvy and civically-engaged youth from Armenia, Azerbaijan and the U.S., providing training and opportunities for these young people to create socially conscious media impacting communities in the U.S. and the Caucasus. The program was sponsored by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and supported by a global network of organizations.

The first phase of the program began in early 2009, when 90 Armenian, American and Azerbaijani students began online collaboration by exploring youth issues through the lens of media, creating their own documentaries, digital stories, short films, public service announcements and other media for distribution internationally. In May 2009, the second phase of the project began. Based on their achievements in the first phase, 30 students (ten per country) were selected as program finalists, and traveled to the U.S. in July 2009 for advanced media and social action training. In March 2010, ten American high school students joined international peers on a visit to the Caucasus, which included participation in the regional Social Media for Social Change conference in Tbilisi, Georgia. 

The program was a tremendous success, with all students going on to reach personal and academic goals beyond their involvement in DOTCOM. For more information about the online learning component of the program, as well as links to student blogs and the DOTCOM YouTube page, please visit the program forum: http://www.netvibes.com/phdotcom#DOTCOM-Home_Page

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Internet Community Development for the Caucasus

A one-year pilot program, Internet Community Development in the Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia), supported by the US State Department, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, promoted the use of the Internet in the southen Caucasus as a democracy-building and community organizing tool for professionals. The program included communities focused on development of business support, refugee issues, and assistance to internally displaced persons. Training and outreach activities of the program built the local capacity of professionals in these fields to use and create multi-language online resources such as online newsletters, discussions lists, interactive websites, web chats, and teleconferences. Experience from the pilot program was integrated into the core of the School Connectivity Programs in Armenia and Azerbaijan, which followed this ICD.

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It’s a WONDER-ful Life

In 2014-2015, building on success of previous social inclusion initiatives, the U.S. Embassy, Yerevan partnered with PH International to bring the “Wonder-ful Life” project to Armenia. “Wonder-ful Life “- is a series of activities based around the reading of Wonder, R. J. Palacio’s prize winning novel about a young boy with a severe facial disfigurement and the challenges he faces when he enters public middle school.

PH International worked jointly with the Ministry of Education of Armenia and the National Institute of Education to train 30 teachers from around the country who then facilitated group readings and discussions of the book with their students during the Social Inclusion Month in February, 2015. In addition, copies of the novel were distributed to libraries, schools, and NGOs in Armenia.

Armenian students were encouraged to create post cards featuring the Wonder bookcover on one side. The best designs were then printed on real cards and students sent them to the U.S. Ambassador, the Minister of Education, and the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs with a brief idea about how they could make their community more inclusive. 

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Teacher Trainings Project Consultancy

TCON Consultancy Project: Project Harmony was contracted by the Republic of Armenia's Center for Implementation of Educational Projects as a consultant for basic computer literacy training, giving training to 708 educators from Gegharkunik region’s secondary schools. The level of community support for the program was remarkable, with media coverage of PH activities on several occasions.The consultancy took place from Feb. to Sept. 2008 within the framework of much larger national program called “Republic of Armenia Education Quality and Relevance Program”, funded through a credit received by the Republic  of Armenia from the International Development Association.

Through its different components, the “Republic of Armenia Education Quality and Relevance Program” aimed at raising the quality of general education, ensuring its relevance to the new economy and building a professional workforce among Armenian educators and students.

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Youth LAB - Leadership Across Borders

Youth LAB: Turkey-Armenia-U.S. forged cross-cultural connections and fostered innovative leadership among Turkish, Armenian and American youth, nurturing a cadre of youth to become actively engaged in addressing issues of mutual concern in their schools and communities, and equipping them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to become citizen activists.. The program was funded by a grant from the Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, and was implemented by PH International and its Turkish partner, ARI Movement.

The 16-month initiative brought together 75 young leaders – 25 from each country – with creative ideas and open minds. Prior to a three-week leadership camp in the U.S., students from the three countries communicated online via a secure website and began talking with one another about leadership and change in their communities. In July 2011 all 75 students came together in Vermont for a two-week leadership camp at Sugarbush Resort, followed by a one-week homestay experience with American hosts.As part of the camp the students formed international teams to discuss, design and plan civic activities to work on in their communities after they returned home. They then spent the next four months working on these projects in their schools and communities, continuing to communicate with their peers and program coordinators as they put learning into action. In late December 2011, the students reunited in Turkey and Armenia visiting projects, communities, and expanding their cultural and leadership training.

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ZANG Armenian Legal Socialization Project


ZANG Program brochure

Program Final Independent Evaluation


The ZANG Armenian Legal Socialization Project,  funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), inroduced legal education to Armenian schools and established collaboration between educators and law enforcement professionals who work with youth. In and out of school, the program encouraged cooperative partnerships between law enforcement, educators and community organizations for positive change in areas of public safety, crime prevention, and civic society development. Among its outstanding achievements, ZANG introduced legal education curriculum in schools, introduced new concepts for prevention and restorative justice approaches, raised awareness of the broader community about juvenile justice issues, and helped create Community Justice Centers in Armenia.

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