YEREVAN—On July 31, the renovated and remodeled Debet Village Municipality (Lori region) opened, providing the Debet community with a brand new open working space, a conference room and a 21st-century library, Gradarak Debet. The opening ceremony was attended by the governor of Lori Aram Khachatryan, Debet village mayor Ashot Ghazaryan, Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) managing director Korioun Khatchadourian and co-founder and director of the Gradarak Libraries NGO Arusik Zeynalyan. The reconstruction of the Debet Municipality and the establishment of Gradarak Debet were carried out within the framework of COAF’s “SMART Debet” initiative, set to become an exemplary model for the comprehensive development of rural communities.
The Debet Municipality’s modern and technically equipped conference room, built at a cost of $14,000, provides favorable conditions for meetings and virtual and agile professional communication between the municipality and other bodies and organizations. Complemented by an open working space, the cost of which amounted to $43,000, the new and improved Debet Municipality creates all the necessary preconditions for increasing work efficiency.
The multifunctional, innovative library located on the second floor of the Debet Municipality is a product of cooperation between the Debet Municipality, COAF and the “Gradarak Libraries” NGO. In addition to being just a library, it is also a comfortable venue to host seminars, workshops and a variety of other events. The 1,076 square foot area features a small and quiet work and study room and a larger hall for events and meetings. As a common space for community members, the library is open to all age groups starting from three years old and is stocked with a wide variety of equipment, including computers, a projector, a big screen, speakers, microphones, unique and comfortable furniture and more. The number of books available to the community will gradually increase from 400 to 4,000. COAF covers all expenses for the construction and furnishing of the library, while “Gradarak Libraries” NGO ensures the continuous and smooth operation of the institution, including the provision of a local librarian. Debet Municipality grants access to the library seven days a week and covers part of the operational costs. The cost of the project is $40,000.