History of the Peace Corps in Armenia
The first Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Armenia in the winter of 1992, during the most difficult of times for the young Republic. Volunteers faced a lack of food, electricity, and heat, during a particularly hard winter, and the country was still dealing with the difficult recovery period after a devastating 1988 earthquake, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and a war with Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory. Yet, despite all of these difficulties, these first Volunteers stayed in Armenia and served their communities who welcomed them with warm hearts and open arms. Since then, almost 1,000 Volunteers have served in the Armenia Peace Corps Program.
Today, conditions have significantly improved. There is regular electricity throughout the country and Yerevan, the capital, is a modern growing city. Still, rural poverty is pervasive and economic challenges persist. Many Armenians are forced to immigrate to other countries for employment, and Armenian youth seek opportunities to better themselves and their country.
Achievements of the Peace Corps in Armenia
For the past 25 years, Peace Corps has promoted peace and friendship in Armenia, while also contributing to the education, youth, environment, NGO and economic development, and health sectors. Peace Corps Volunteers have also taught Armenians about American culture and brought what they’ve learned of Armenian culture back home to their communities in the United States.
Peace Corps Volunteers have brought hope for a better future to many people in rural communities in Armenia. Many Volunteers have formed lifelong friendships with Armenian counterparts, friends, and neighbors. Progress has been made in helping Armenian students improve their English language skills and countless Volunteer students and counterparts have achieved their academic and professional goals and dreams.
Peace Corps Volunteers have also contributed significantly to the development of non-governmental organizations in Armenia by helping many of them to develop sustainable projects and services, to meet the needs of their target beneficiaries.
Peace Corps Armenia today!
The Peace Corps is well established in Armenia and has a strong reputation for effective grassroots development work. Volunteers serve in villages and towns throughout the country, focused on English education and Youth development.
2017 is a special year for the Peace Corps program in Armenia; the Program is celebrating its 25th Anniversary of service to the people of Armenia.
Looking back on our history, we are thankful and proud of the progress made, the projects accomplished, and the Armenian friends and partners that we have worked with over the last 25 years.
To learn more about the Peace Corps in Armenia, check out our most recent annual report: