LOS ANGELES—Last year, after selling more than 250 tri-colored graduation cords to students across the country, the All-ASA raised nearly $4,000 for its very own initiative, the Medovka Project focused on building infrastructure for the small village outside of Stepanavan. The money raised was divided between the artisans in Dilijan responsible for making the cords and to build a park to have a safe, clean place for the village children to play throughout the day.
Last year, the All-ASA enlisted the support of multiple families from the village and together they build a gate around the park to inhibit cattle from grazing. They also purchased goals, soccer balls and ultimately encouraged the creations of a girls’ soccer team.
Due to popular demand, the tri-color graduation cords are back this year! In order to support local business initiatives in rural Armenia, All-ASA will be purchasing the cords from craftsmen in Armenia again. They will be hand-made by locals at a small sewing center in Dilijan. The materials have been purchased in Armenia and the cords will be crafted there in the coming months.
In order to continue to keep the funds in the local community, the All-ASA will be donating the proceeds of the graduation cords to the renovation the library and gym of the small village. The students in the village are not able to partake in physical education classes during the long, harsh winters, due to the lack of a proper gymnasium. The school’s existing library is in an unusable condition and there is an urgent need to renovate this space. As a project of the All-ASA’s Homeland Initiative Committee, the All-ASA hopes to lend a hand to fellow Armenian students by providing for the development of a productive learning space.
This initiative is led by ARF Levon Shant Student Association member and All-ASA Homeland Initiative Committee member, Khachig Joukhajian, who is currently a Teach for Armenia fellow. Khachig teaches Armenian and World History at the school in the village of Medovka. He notes “We have an opportunity to provide current and future generations of youth in the village of Medovka with spaces for self-development, discovery, inquiry, and learning. In basic terms, we want to provide the students with an indoor space where PE classes can be held (as well as an exercise space for afterschool programs), and a comfortable library space for study and reading. The population this project will serve is the current students of Medovka school, which is at 56 students currently. Fortunately, because the population is small so is the space we want to build and therefore, a little funding will go a long way.”
All of the materials will be purchased from the local shops, alongside labor from village families in order to ensure sustainability of the project.
The campaign welcomes Armenian graduating students from around the country to purchase cords to wear at their graduation ceremonies. The cord is also a wonderful gift for any graduating student. The deadline for putting in orders is April 25, 2018 ORDER NOW. The All-ASA will be in contact with all those who place orders.
The All-Armenian Student Association (All-ASA) works to unite various Armenian-American college student organizations and serve the greater Armenian-American community through cultural, social, educational, and activist programming. As the largest confederation of ASAs in the nation, All-ASA is dedicated to collaboration among its constituent organizations, leadership development of its members, and community service.