“Adopt a village”
The Diaspora helps Armenia
‘Adopt a village’ project has been launched. Areni is the first adopted village. New Zealand, namely the Armenian community of this country, is the first guardian.
“Adoption means that the Diaspora will coordinate assistance for this village. It will not deliver direct financial assistance, but will establish ties between villagers, requiring aid and organizations, that will be able to provide this assistance. At the same time, a benefactor may provide money or other assistance.
“The matter does not concern huge financial projects that may become a basis for corruption. These will be micro projects, the major part of which will not be tied with cash sums, but will rather establish direct relations between the Diaspora and villages, the official site of the project explains.
It means that the project will promote development of rural areas, as well as closer relations between the homeland and the Diaspora. Many Armenians, residing abroad, wish to assist their homeland, but they do not know what to start with, what Armenia needs most of all. This is a chance for them to make a real contribution to the development of their historical homeland. If well-being of rural residents is improved, it will be invaluable act of charity as the rural area residents are the most vulnerable part of the country’s population.
The project envisages promotion of the agriculture diversification, training of specialists, including in marketing. Technical provision of villages – both with agricultural equipment and information technologies, will be a significant part of the activity. Besides, Adopt a village project provides for promotion of the tourism development.
As it is pointed out in the program document, explaining the project goals, it will promote development of large and small villages. The Diaspora will work with a large village, a headman of which will be “responsible for adjacent small villages. The project will cover the whole territory of Armenia if the pilot “adoption of Areni village is successful. It has been already determined which of the huge Diasporas will take care of this or that region in Armenian.
Len Wicks, an author of this project, advanced an idea of “adoption after his visit to Armenia. He saw how hard the villagers life was, besides, he visited places that might attract tourists provided those places were improved.
The project’s author considers that successful realization of this idea, as well as absolute transparency of both financing and use of allocated assets, can attract more investments from abroad. Progress, transparency and trust are necessary for attracting funds. Investors may invest money first of all in the spheres, requiring allocations and this, in its turn, will create jobs, necessary for the country.
Who is Len Wicks, a person willing to do so much for Armenia? He tells about himself: “I am a citizen of New Zealand and Australia, my wife is Armenian, who opened my eyes to Armenia and its history. He incarnated his discovery in his novel, entitled “Origin. Discovery. It is dedicated to the Armenians – victims of the genocide. At present Len works on the screen adaptation of his novel.