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Women for Development (WFD)


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Women for Development (WFD)

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Our dream is to have a share in poverty reduction and democratic reforms in Armenia through the empowerment of rural youth, women and men and by promoting peace processes in the region.

We work in two priority areas – Community Development and Peace Building. In the aftermath of the 44-day conflict with Azerbaijan last year, as well as while we undergo the COVID19 pandemic, we are now primarily focused on developing the capacities of rural youth, women and men. We do this through monitoring the operations of 8 youth centers we have established in our beneficiary communities since 2018, as well as continuous capacity building of the youth group members, as well as men and women from those communities.

The problem we are trying to solve:

Since our primary projects are located in the most underserved Shirak province of Armenia, we are doing our best to create new and sustainable opportunities for our rural community residents. The villages where we work share common social and economic problems, such as poor infrastructure, road conditions, harsh winters, poor medical facilities, highest poverty and unemployment rates in country, etc. Additionally, the defeat and psychological trauma caused by 44-day war with Azerbaijan last year and overall political uncertainty in country are causing rural population to migrate to Russia and other countries and larger communities within Armenia. The number of population in the villages keeps decreasing. In some villages where we work there are schools with less than 30 pupils. Our goal is to prevent this migration and provide youth with opportunities to grow and develop in their own communities.

The solution we are proposing:

With this proposal, we are planning to conduct a 4-day Youth Entrepreneurship Academy for 16 youth – members of our 8 youth active groups. We plan to conduct this event in late spring/early summer of 2022, to be able to secure more open-air time, for COVID19 safety protocols adherence. The Academy will not only teach entrepreneurship skills to the participants, but also create a solid and professionally facilitated network of young entrepreneurs, which will keep them connected and empowered to learn from each other and make positive impact in their communities. In the second year of the project, we will bring participants back together and redirect funds to establish youth-led social enterprises in their communities. Circling back to our dream statement, this project will contribute to poverty reduction and democratic reforms in Armenia through empowering local youth in creating self-owned businesses or social enterprises. We have already established youth active groups and physical youth centers in our 8 target communities. Through training and creating network of youth entrepreneurs and creating the mentoring and networking culture and exchange of best practices, we will develop a core group which will focus on establishing their own social enterprises in the second year.

What success looks like for us:

We will create a unique network of 16 young entrepreneurs and by the end of the second year, 8 social enterprises will be created in our target communities. This, in turn, will keep local youth committed and motivated to stay in their communities and contribute to their further development.

Where we are are based:

Gyumri, Armenia

Funding we are applying for:

$14,000 - $15,000 per year

How this funding will help us achieve our goals:

This funding will help us transform the 8 youth groups, currently supported by us, into youth-led, self-sustainable and independent organizations.

How this funding will strengthen our group:

This is a unique chance for us to create a one of a kind network of young entrepreneurs and champion this idea in Northern Armenia. We could potentially expand this network across entire country in the future, as this project will not only build capacities of the beneficiary youth, but also our own staff who will be involved in the project implementation phases.

How we gain by being a Spark Fund partner:

Through the Spark Fund, we would like to connect with organizations with similar projects happening in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. We already lead a Peace Platform between Armenian and Georgian NGOs. Similarly, with our community and youth development component, we are eager to partake in youth focused initiatives across the region. We will welcome any shared capacity building and learning opportunities.

How we would like to spend a grant through the Spark Fund:

For the first year of the grant, the majority of our requested funds are allocated under Programmatic costs, namely organizing the Youth Entrepreneurship Academy, follow up study visits, transportation costs and trainer/network manager fees. Another budget line is under Human Resources, namely staff salaries for 2 key project personnel. For the second year, our present vision is to allocate the majority of funds to youth groups with the purpose of establishing local youth-led social enterprises. Additionally we have budgeted for a Refresher Forum, network manager fee and dedicated staff salaries.

Our Annual Income:

98,186 EUR

Our Organization Structure:

Our organization’s advisory board through bi-annual general assembly makes organizational decisions. We are a youth-focused organization at the moment, however our vision is to nurture our 8 youth active groups into self-led organizations in the nearest future.

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