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Saro Baghdasaryan

Sara Petrosyan

Armenia: Aparan's New Community Hall Aims to Spur Greater Civic Engagement

Claus Neukirch, Director of Programme Coordination at the Council of Europe (CoE), sits down with a group of young people in the newly renovated community hall in the town of Aparan and asks them to describe their vision for Aparan’s future.

The CoE , with financing from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), allocated €13,000 to renovate and furnish the community hall that has become a meeting place for young people in Aparan, a town of some 6,000 fifty kilometers north of Yerevan.

The project is part of the CoE’s "Democratic Development, Decentralization and Good Governance in Armenia" program that has funded numerous community initiatives in Armenia to raise local government transparency and civic participation, especially among young people, in local affairs.

Armenian Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Vacheh Terteryan was on hand at the community hall’s opening and thanked the Council of Europe and the Austrian Development Agency for supporting the project.

Mariam Sargsyan, who runs the Aparan Municipality’s program department, says the new hall will hold a series of arts, cultural and sports events this year. Sargsyan says they also want to turn the town into an eco-tourism hub.

"The enlargement of communities in Armenia should be considered a great success. This program is a success story, and we are happy to have made our contribution in this cause. I am quite satisfied with the work done and I am happy that we can contribute to the development of local democracy by cooperating with the CE. There is still a lot to be done in this area," says ADA Yerevan Office Director Klaus Kapper.

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