In a little village in Tavush province in Armenia, called Choratan, social and cultural life is well-developed and plays a key role. Since the town is located close to the Azerbaijani border, it is from time to time in crosshairs between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces. Responsible for the lively social-cultural activities is the “Mkhitar youth centre”, which was founded in 2001 and operates since then with the assistance of “Armenia´s Mkhitaryan Centre”.
The remote community of Choratan is cut from cultural development due to its geographical location. Hence, the youth centre organises educational as well as cultural activities for children aged 7 to 17 and solves their social problems. Thereby the Mkhitar centre aims at developing educational, cultural and professional capabilities of children and contributing to the creation of jobs, reducing emigration and conveying new skills. Moreover, they are taught various handcrafts such tapestry, embroidery, healthy lifestyle, chess, music, dance, painting and poetry.
From the 107 children in Choratan most of them attend the activities organised by the centre. In the next few years the range of activities will be expanded, adding new classes teaching amongst others foreign languages and internet accessibility.
Although “Armenia’s Mkhitaryan Centre” provides monthly expenditures, the centre plans to create a network with former students donating for future activities, including new fields and communities.
Edgar Kalantaryan, director of the Mkhitar youth centre concludes that “the classes also have a guiding significance in choosing a profession in the future”.