Ru En

It is just the beginning

Ruben Vardanyan Aurora Humanitarian Initiative UWC Dilijan College, Armenia IDeA (Initiatives for Development of Armenia)

Date: 25.05.2015

Source: Mediamax

After the May 24 event at UWC Dilijan College, Co-Founder at IDeA (Initiatives for Development of Armenia) Charitable Foundation Ruben Vardanyan talked to journalists.

Happy children – we couldn’t have achieved a better result at UWC Dilijan College over this one year. 96 students, out of which 10 come from Armenia, study at Dilijan College. Students from over 40 countries are learning Armenian. It’s one of small, yet major achievements.

The most important advice I give to our students is always remember your being an Armenian but never fail to be open to the world. I believe one of the greatest assets of such schools is that representatives of various nationalities learn one another’s cultural values preserving their own identity.

A year ago everything was much harder – nobody knew what kind of school it is, where it is located and what education it provides. While now our students are telling about the school and their practice on social networks and it’s much easier for other students to resolve to come to Armenia. Last year education at UWC Dilijan College was merely a dream, whereas today it’s already more tangible.

The students have decided to keep the city clean. The students of our College and other Dilijan schools have divided the city into several parts and have undertaken to maintain the cleanness of various areas. It’s already a great achievement as children have realized that it’s their city and it’s them who should take care of it.

The children have really amazed me and I look at them with admiration. We have brilliant and open-minded students. They are only 16-17 but trust me, they are mature people with a redefined conception of the world.

I am often asked how I feel about the youth leaving for abroad to study. I left Armenia at 17 to pursue my education and activities in Russia. What matters is not to forget about your Armenian roots once you make strides. On the other hand, you cannot demand such a thing – you either have that feeling inside you, or you don’t.

All this is just the beginning. A school does not fulfill its potential within a year. The first academic year at Dilijan College is a small step, followed by a long path which still lies ahead of us.

100 LIVES initiative is not aimed at just involving famous people. We want to establish an event of global significance. The award ceremony of Aurora Annual Global Humanitarian Award will take place in Yerevan on April 24, 2016. It will be awarded to people or organizations committed to fighting against genocides and other disasters today.

I am very happy doctor Patch Adams is currently in Armenia. I was a tad worried when inviting him to pay a visit to Armenia. There were people saying his style would not be accepted in Armenia and we shouldn’t take him to Gyumri or Vanadzor. Today I am more than happy as we managed to show that people in Armenia are ready to smile and that they do realize the importance of what Patch Adams and his friends are doing.

Lena Gevorgyan