ARMENIAN ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS

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Beneficiaries of the Abovyan community were given grantsto create theirown business

27.07.2022

The project “Promoting Social Inclusion and Self-Reliant Livelihood Activities in Armenia” is implemented by the Armenian Association of Social Workers in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Armenia.

The project “Promoting Social Inclusion and Self-Reliant Livelihood Activities in Armenia” is implemented by the Armenian Association of Social Workers in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Armenia. The project aims to promote self-reliant livelihood of poor and vulnerable groups, empower their participation in society and economic life in the Ararat, Armavir, Kotayk, Shirak and Lori marzes of Armenia. The project is generously funded by the Government of Japan through the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) and administered by the World Bank.

Today, the Association of Social Workers of Armenia announced the official start of providing business sub-grants to beneficiary families under the Project. The high-ranked representatives of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, Embassy of Japan in Armenia, World Bank Country Office, Unified Social Service, Association of Social Workers as well as  partner organizations participated in the solemn ceremony of signing the sub-grant contracts; they were welcomed by the head of Abovyan community Mr. E.Babayan.

Congratulating the beneficiaries and partners on the beginning of the active stage of providing business grants, the President of the Armenian Association of Social Workers Mrs. Mira Antonyan in her opening remarks says "The inception phase of the project has passed through great trials -  coronavirus pandemic, a terrible war, and yet, by joining forces, we were able to make a reality the project provided unique opportunity for family benefit program beneficiaries, supporting them to create a small business on their own and to create self-reliant income sources on their own."

Emphasizing the citizen’s initiatives and activity, the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Narek Mkrtchyan, who was present at the event, specifically stated, "Our goal is to motivate them, encourage them and create solid preconditions to independently overcome social difficulties and change their lives through effective employment programs"

“This project has a unique focus on social aspect of supporting,” says Mrs. Carolin Geginat, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia. “In particular, 300 beneficiaries in need gain a set of business skills and knowledge with further coaching from trainers and daily support from social workers to be able to path their own ways of doing self-sufficient businesses in agriculture, small production, service provision and trade”, she adds.

Ambassador of Japan in Armenia had a greeting speech to the audience. “Today I am very pleased to see how successfully this Project has been implemented. The Government of Japan focuses on projects that aim to deepen economic and regional development in Armenia by enhancing human resource capacity”, emphasized H.E. Mr. Masanori Fukushima, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan.This Project is one of those excellent examples of how various activities can contribute to further improvement of welfare and living conditions of vulnerable people in Armenia.

During the event, Mr. Karo Gevorgyan, the coordinator of the entrepreneurship development component of the Project, presented the activities carried out with beneficiaries, the selection of the beneficiaries, the scope of selected business plans and the grant contracts with beneficiaries were signed to help them to create their own businesses; the total value of grants is around 1.6 million AMD. At the end of the event, the beneficiaries shared their impressions, presented their business plans and thanked for having the opportunity to participate in the project and finally be able to have their own business.

At least 700,000 people in Armenia live below the poverty line. The main instrument for overcoming poverty is the economic activation of the beneficiaries, the formation of a self-relaint  socio-economic environment for them, providing job  and self-employment opportunities. The business management skills training for more than 600 beneficiary families of Ararat, Armavir, Kotayk, Shirak and Lori regions were organized in frame of the Project and more than 300 beneficiaries will receive business sub-grants.

The JSDF was established by the Government of Japan and the World Bank as a mechanism to provide direct assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable groups in eligible World Bank countries. The aim is to enhance their capacities, strengthen their empowerment and participation in society and economic life.

Founded in 2004, The “Armenian Association of Social Workers” NGO (AASW) is a professional organization with more than 1000 members. The main goals of the Association are the development of social work education and practice in Armenia, protection of the rights and interests of social workers and their beneficiaries, and promotion of social protection reforms in Armenia.

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