Futurespotters Video Interview: Liana Enli Manusajyan in Yerevan, Armenia

Meet Liana from Let's Create Smile:

 

 

TL,DW

Let's Create Smile is a youth initiative, existing for 4 years.
The aim is to help people in need, especially those with disabilities. They work both in the city and in rural areas, and try to help people engage in society, as well as providing clothes, food, and any other resources/materials they may need. They also put on events, like art therapy for children, and try to create connections and exchange among urban and rural youth
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Many disabled people lack confidence due to their disability and don't want to leave their homes and get in touch with other people, they feel they may be a burden upon others. They mostly just need attention - in Armenia there aren't special places where people with disabilities can go for support or interaction.

Challenges
The challenges they face are mostly psychological. People who want to deal with disabled people should try to understand the needs and thoughts of the disabled person, what they actually need or want.

How you can help:
People with disabilities need attention and connections to other people. Help from outside Armenia would include ideas of how to engage with disabled people in everyday life, eg. through sport or other activities - Let's Create Smile needs your thoughts and experience!

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Comments

Let's create a factory of smiles:)

Vahagn's picture

I mean the idea that came up during our talks at the "Spot The Future" workshop days - starting a swap-shop soon in the space I rent, can become a place where people will smile a lot, I think, because it's not a usual thing - to come to a "shop" and to take something you like without having to pay for it or even give something in return. I am really looking forward to starting this and observing people and collecting their feedback. 
Linking this idea to your interview Liana - children may especially enjoy this place, and the volunteers that you told about, can get a nice chance to think about alternatives to the current economy. Unfortunately the entrance of that space is not adjusted for the needs of disabled people and cannot be modified easily because it is considered to be a protected historical monument, but there are always a bunch of cyclists from the Green Bicycle Delivery office next door, so I think with their help we can help disabled people to get, if they come.

So we need to discuss some details soon Liana;-)
Looking forward!

 

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Sure!!! :)

Enli's picture

Great!!! Swap shop will be platform of smiles.. this will be more visible and touchable for those who need smiles.... 

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it already brought some smiles to people in Yerevan:)

Vahagn's picture

The day when we did the spontaneous unofficial opening of the Swap Shop Yerevan, we had many diverse guests and some of them also brought things already, not only took. Yana brought a screen for showing movies with projector, so we can use it for our movie nights and workshops, Eric brought his sound system to use it for parties and the Sky School days, and several people took things mainly for their kids, as there are many cloths and toys there. one girl brought a huge bag of cloths the other day, which we haven't even explored yet, and I am sure more is coming soon. Thanks againLiana for the impulse, involvement, help in organizing not only the Swap Shop but also the Sky School and related activities like parties and other informal meetups that we organize for attracting more people to the venue and helping it to develop. 

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Pesky people: Meet Alison

Nadia's picture

Liana hi, I can't believe I missed tis post! Thanks for sharing your story. I really like the name, it's lovely. A while ago @Chris did this interview with Alison who runs Pesky People. I think it's worth checking out for a different perspective. Curious to hear what your thoughts are...

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Thank you for the link!

Enli's picture

Hi Nadia.... Thank you and it is great idea that Alison do.. I'll try to examine all points and make something similar to Armenian disable people.. I think it will work here .. :)

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