Virtual youth panel to spotlight humanitarian efforts following Artsakh War

WASHINGTON, DC — The AYF-YOARF Washington DC “Ani” chapter will be hosting a virtual panel discussion titled “Youth Panel: The Diaspora’s Role in Addressing Armenia’s Humanitarian Crisis,” during which AYF Internship Program participants will share their experiences in working with distressed communities following the Artsakh War.

The program will take place on Saturday, February 20 at 7:30 pm EST. It will be live-streamed on the AYF Washington DC “Ani” Chapter Facebook page.

AYF “Ani” Chapter Executive Member Nareg Kuyumjian will be moderating the discussion which will include presentations by AYF Washington Ani Chapter treasurer Kristine Antanesian and AYF Manhattan “Moush” Chapter member Aram Parnagian. Antanesian and Parnagian were among a group of AYF members who recently returned from conducting month-long humanitarian work in Armenia and Artsakh, organized under the auspices of the AYF Eastern US Armenia Internship Program. The discussion will center around the current situation and reflect on ways Diasporan youth can play a part in meeting the immediate needs on the ground. The presentations will be followed by a question and answer session. 

A simultaneous fundraiser will be conducted via the AYF Facebook live stream for the Armenian Relief Society’s (ARS) “Stand with an Artsakh Family” Program

Kristine Antanesian meets siblings Anna, Inna and Allen at the ARF Aram Manoukian building in Yerevan. They accepted the candy she brought for them and taught her how they played rock, paper, scissors in Artsakh.

Antanesian spent three weeks in Armenia working with humanitarian organizations like the ARS, meeting displaced Artsakh families and gathering information to help with Diasporan assistance efforts. A member of the AYF for over seven years, Antanesian is studying psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; she plans to attend medical school upon graduating. 

Parnagian also traveled to Armenia and Artsakh last winter, crowdfunding to help families affected by the war and assisting soldiers who continue to stay at their posts defending the homeland. Parnagian is a 21 year old senior studying mathematics at the University of Buffalo. 

The Babayan family of Nor Shen. Photo taken at their house after preparing lunch for Parnagian and Makasdjian. AYF members supplied their family with a power generator because there was no consistent electricity in Marduni.
Founded in 1933, The Armenian Youth Federation is an international, non-profit, youth organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). The AYF-YOARF Eastern United States stands on five pillars that guide its central activities and initiatives: Educational, Hai Tahd, Social, Athletic and Cultural. The AYF also promotes a fraternal attitude of respect for ideas and individuals amongst its membership. Unity and cooperation are essential traits that allow members of the organization to work together to realize the AYF’s objectives.

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