© Sossie Belekhian

© Sossie Belekhian

YMCA, also known as the Y, stands for Young Men’s Christian Association, a global organization that was founded in 1844. Armenia is one of those countries that has also joined the YMCA community with 5 different associations under the roof of YMCA Armenia: YMCA Ozone (Gyumri), YMCA Spitak, Vanadzor, Vardenis and Yerevan.

I joined the YMCA in November, 2013. Since then my life has changed for the better. I’ve become close with people whom I now proudly call friends and I’ve grown into a better human being. Most importantly, however, is being one of the leaders of the YMCA team for Syrian-Armenians. The team just celebrated its one year anniversary (photo above).

Inspired by a summer camp organized by YMCA Armenia in 2013, the team of enthusiastic Syrian-Armenian volunteers was formed. Our main mission is to help Syrian-Armenian kids and teenagers grow intellectually, physically and spiritually by organizing fun and educational weekly activities for them.

A problem that most Syrian-Armenians face when they settle in Armenia is that they don’t integrate into the Armenian society and find it hard to interact with local Armenians. This is something we always have in mind. Our next goal is to gather local Armenians in our group of around 90 Syrian-Armenian children, which will facilitate communication and cooperation between us all.

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