News > European Armenians > Birthright Armenia sweeps France and Switzerland
Birthright Armenia has sponsored a series of recruitment events in France and Switzerland that united community organizations and leaders, church groups, political organizations, and student associations under one roof to learn more about volunteer opportunities in Armenia.
Hundreds attended to hear how our current generation of youth can participate in shaping their Homeland through community service while strengthening their Armenian identity, and how Birthright Armenia can assist them through sponsorship.
The kick-off event took place in Paris on 23 November 2007, and then continued in Lyon, Marseille and Nice (see photo from the Nice gathering). Birthright Armenia alumni living in France are taking the lead in promoting the events with the many community organizations on the ground to ensure large turnouts, sharing personal stories about their life-changing experiences in Armenia with their peers.
, Switzerland marked the end of this particular tour, with Birthright Armenia representative, Sevan Kabakian
, addressing the Union of Swiss Armenians
at the end of the month. The entire itinerary, complete with locations and times, was posted on the Web site at www.birthrightarmenia.org
“These visits are very valuable because they give us the opportunity to meet potential volunteers face to face, get to know a broad cross-section of the community, and create long-term name recognition for Birthright Armenia,” says Kabakian. The French-Armenian community leaders embraced the opportunity to learn more about all the organizations that implement youth programs in Armenia, possible job placement sites, Birthright Armenia services, and how the cross pollination of effort all ties together for a common cause.
This is the third outreach tour of 2007 for Birthright Armenia, having earlier in the year targeted the Middle East and Eastern Europe through dozens of community-based events it sponsored in Lebanon, Syria, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
France, being the country with the largest number of diasporans in Western Europe, is being targeted city by city where high concentrations of Armenian youth live. “From the large community of Marseille to the much smaller one in Geneva, it’s all about unlocking the potential of Armenian youth and connecting it to the Homeland.”
Birthright Armenia is planning a series of recruitment events in Italy, Greece and Cyprus, scheduled to take place in spring 2008.
Birthright Armenia’s mission is to strengthen ties between the homeland and diasporan youth by affording them an opportunity to be a part of Armenia’s daily life and to contribute to Armenia’s development through work, study and volunteer experiences, while developing a renewed sense of Armenian identity.
Photo: Sevan Kabakian, Birthright Armenia representative, in the middle of a group of Armenian youth in Nice, France.