Thanks for checking in!
Hi @Noemi dear, thanks for checking in! Actually there is some improvement, concerning the awareness about the situation in the government and policy makers’ circle. I am happy to notice that now more and more agencies talk about the issue of Syrian refugees and the need to accommodate them and help them integate in Armenia. As for me, I gradually disengaged from the formal activities of Armenian Redwood Project (ARP) since it moved to a more bureaucratic and administrative sphere that I was not very comfortable dealing with, compared to the field work I have been doing for over a year, and currently I am only writing content and helping with field work. ARP has now teamed up with other agencies to work on a project of offering housing to the refugees with a lease, so that instead of paying rent they can pay for it monthly and own the apartment after a few years. As you know ARP has been subsidizing the rent of the refugees for the past couple of years.
Nowadays I’m juggling a few projects, all of them are important causes I care for and I wrote case studies about during the Futuremakers project - I’m managing a social enterprize Sunchild Eco Tours and the Eco Lodge in the only privately owned nature reserve in the Caucasus - the CWR, organizing events and the AiR program in the Institute for Contemporary Arts in Yerevan AND working on my own art project The Return: Environmental Portraits of the Syrian Refugees in Armenia together with my friend and a talanted photographer Anush Babajanyan of 4Plus Photography. The final product will be a photo exhibition and storytelling event that aimes to bring awareness to the issues of Syrian refugees in Armenia. And we will definitely involve the Syrian restaurants to provide food for our opening ceremony(maybe some collective cooking eventually). People in Armenia got to like and appreciate the taste of Levantene cuisine and Syrian food is popular more than ever in Yerevan!
So yeah, I’m uberstretched and have almost no me-time considering I’m single-parenting since I moved to Armenia in summer 2015. Luckily I have had the chance to be one of the beneficiaries of Stega 's 6 week yoga course for the changemakers of Armenia (just had my last class on Wednesday) and we hope to fundraise to offer yoga and meditative therapy classes for the refugees in the nearest future.
I’m also preparing another art project which is called “Juggling Dinosaurs” that is going to tackle the notion of single parenting in Armenia for females, who receive no support whatsoever…a woman, a mother, an activist and a professional trying to juggle it all…
So there you are, now you know why I was absent from the platform for such a long time…hope to meet you all for LOTE6(is it happening?) next year! Edgeryders(you, @Nadia, @Alberto, @Patrick_Andrews and Co) is always on my mind and I’m trying to follow all the developments on the platform. I will definitely come back!