After finishing their two years of military service, Samvel Evoyan and Levon Avetyan, both 20 years old, were skeptical about obtaining work quickly. However, once they completed a training program entitled Non-Formal Education for Returnees run by the local NGO Zinvori Mair (Soldier’s Mother), they soon found themselves gainfully employed.

The training program, launched in 2017 and supported by FAR, helped 90 military veterans to take part in a three-month professional course to acquire new skills in fields like accounting, management, computer literacy, jewelry making, woodworking, cooking, ore enrichment processing, and electrical equipment repair, among other things. Trainings took place in Vanadzor and Alaverdi in Lori Province; in Gyumri in Shirak Province; and in Yerevan. Upon completion of the course, participants received their certifications.

“The training was a pilot program, and the results exceeded our expectations. I’m very pleased with the positive feedback,” said Anahit Hovnanyan, executive director of Zinvori Mair, who expressed her hope that the training would continue in 2018.

Several Zinvori Mair programs, like its art therapy program, and art classes for children affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh War, etc., have been funded by FAR over the past 20 years, thanks to the help of the late Mr. Armen Bedikian. It was during 2017, when Zinvori Mair came up with the idea for a vocational training program for veterans, which FAR then decided to fund.

Currently, Samvel and Levon work at Teghut Mine, a copper mine which is operated by Vallex Group, where they focus on ore processing. They received the job offers when they visited the mine to gain practical skills as part of their training.

While employment statistics have not yet been released, FAR is happy for both Samvel and Levon, and we hope that all program participants will soon find satisfying work.