Prof. Dr. Melanie Sully

Governance Award for Volunteerism Project

Hovhannes Stepanyan from Yerevan Armenia is an an award winner of our Good Governance Scheme 2014.

 Hovhannes took part in our Summer School in Batumi (http://gip.ge/index.php?news_id=5) and proposed a project concept to foster cross border cooperation, confidence building and understanding in the Black Sea Region through Volunteerism (http://gip.ge/failebi/Summer_school_Publication_21633.pdf, page 108). By further promoting this idea during various regional meetings that are aimed to promote cooperation and peace (http://www.cb.joint-civic-education.net/en/what-we-do/news/#c1600; http://www.caucasianhouse.ge/en/about/news/south-caucasus-1), he sees Volunteerism and Service Learning as a strong tool for building good relations and promoting interaction among the youth of the region, including Armenia and Turkey. In this respect, Hovhannes, together with his peer from Turkey, has conducted mutual visits (http://www.cb.joint-civic-education.net/en/see-our-activities/work-visits/) for experiencing lifestyle, culture and meeting young people, especially those representing civil society and NGOs, with the purpose of identifying possibilities that will have the capacity of bringing neighbours closer together with historically difficult relations. In the framework of this initiative, memorials and historical sites were also visited and respect and mutual understanding was encouraged and prevailed. Furthermore, Hovhannes has created a virtual group named “Caucasus+ Regional Volunteering Initiatives” by uniting co-thinkers from the different countries of the region in order to share resources about related events and ideas.