Founded in 2005, the mission of the Yeghegnadzor Civic Center is to promote and strengthen the foundations of civil society and democracy in the region. Staff and volunteers also work to raise public awareness regarding legal rights and the functions of local government. The main beneficiaries of the center’s work are the town of Yeghegnadzor and the villages of Areni and Salli
One of the most important goals the center has is to raise the level of activism among women in the community by engaging them in civil society and promoting their involvement in public affairs. The center has encouraged women leaders to run for local government and has held trainings to address issues of gender inequality. There has been a visible increase in female activism following such seminars and trainings, with more women involved in local decision-making forums.
Legal professionals at the center also provide free consultations and assistance to citizens. A drop-off box inside the center allows citizens to apply for assistance and lodge their claims for consideration and advice. Volunteers at the center also offer free English and computer lessons.
In addition, the center has a great deal of experience in monitoring local government activity, especially on issues such as workers’ rights, health care, and public spending. Through the promotion of public monitoring, the local government’s budgetary spending has become more transparent. In turn, the population has become more vigilant regarding changes in their community, attending public hearings in greater number and showing increased interest in how the budget is allocated.
Young people have also been mobilized by the center through events, trainings, and seminars dealing with corruption, human trafficking and human rights protection. Many of the young volunteers who congregate around the center regularly attend public meetings and serve as monitors during elections.
Administrative Director: Artour Haroutiounyan