The partnership between DVV International Armenia and the Khachmeruk Adult Education Centre in Gyumri is long, solid and trustful. It started back in 2007, benefiting the over 3,000 persons who learned much needed skills at the centre.
As a centre affiliated with the Shirak diocese, Khachmeruk offers a wide range of community services to its beneficiaries, including child care support, social and psychological counselling, tutoring for struggling school students, and much more. As such, it is always at the forefront of community support, and can mobilize very quickly during times of crisis. When COVID-19 started spreading through Armenia and hit Gyumri, the second largest city in the country, it took colleagues only a few days to overcome the initial shock of the situation until they started to do what they do best. Their response has been on different fronts and was supported by DVV International.
From provision of humanitarian assistance, to explaining the government’s social policies, to sewing face masks and bed linens for hospitals, they do their best to help overcome the situation. DVV International’s support has made it possible for the centre to bring back all the trainees of their previous sewing classes and teach them new skills to prepare the much needed masks and bed linens.
With Easter approaching, the adult education trainers prepared videos on colouring Easter eggs and baking cakes in order to give free online master classes to their learner beneficiaries. In a few weeks, the trainers will attend an online class offered by DVV International Armenia to learn about blended teaching and how to adapt their courses to the demands of the time. Some of this may work, some may not, but what matters to these instructors is being there for their community and beneficiaries, thus keeping hope and optimism alive.