Project report: New Generation NGO, Armenia
Grantee: New Generation NGO, Armenia (NGNGO)
Project: “Ensuring Social Well-Being and Empowerment of Migrants’ Families”
The main goal of our project on “Ensuring the Social Well-Being and Empowerment of Migrants’ Families” was to support the families, particularly the wives and children of Armenian labour migrants, through social assistance and capacity-building training sessions.
The project beneficiaries were the families of labour migrants, especially wives who’ve been left alone to support their family and children.
The project was implemented from May 1 to September 30, 2022. The New Generation NGO team and beneficiaries are very grateful to the BEARR Trust Small Grants Scheme for the support which made the project possible.
The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the war situation in the Republic of Artsakh and Armenia in 2020, and the economic consequences thereof produced large migration flows out of the country. In total, 43,874 more Armenians left than entered the country in 2021. The net migration rate for Armenia in 2022 is -1.686 per 1000 population, a 0.18% decline from 2021. This situation reversed a trend of three straight years when the country recorded positive balances: 15,317 in 2018, 10,506 in 2019, and 12,092 in 2020.
Armenia has historically had high rates of seasonal labour migration and a sizeable diaspora around the world. Annually, over 60,000 labour migrants go to seek jobs in Russia, Ukraine, the USA and Western and Eastern Europe. Many of them find permanent settlement there, start new families in those countries and provide little or no support to their families in Armenia. This leaves the migrants’ families, especially their wives and children, in a very difficult social situation exacerbated by the prevalence of gender inequality, particularly in rural areas of Armenia.
The project activities served to:
- address the basic social needs of 50 disadvantaged families of labour migrants,
- empower 20 wives of labour migrants, who were abandoned by their husbands, providing them with skills that would help them to support their family and children
- touch upon the issue of gender inequality and women’s empowerment in Armenia
In particular, the project included the following activities:
- Provision of social assistance to 50 socially disadvantaged families of Armenian labour migrants:
50 socially disadvantaged families of Armenian labour migrants received receipts and cards which enabled them to purchase food products in the supermarkets of Yerevan, Vanadzor and Gyumri cities in Armenia.
At the very launch of the project, New Generation Humanitarian NGO wrote official letters to the Migration Service, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, Employment Centres, and local self-governing bodies of the Republic of Armenia with a request to provide the NGO with the contact list of 50 socially disadvantaged labour migrants’ families. NGNGO contacted the beneficiaries from the list, checked all documents relevant to their social status and provided them with appropriate assistance and capacity-building training. Some of the project beneficiaries were selected from the list provided, others selected through open calls for applications both for social assistance and the training sessions, so that no one who wasn’t registered by state agencies as a socially disadvantaged person/family was left behind.
Cooperation with state institutions for the well-being of beneficiary communities is among the most crucial components of NGNGO’s activity. The NGO has long experience and established procedures for proper communication and cooperation with state agencies. Thus, the NGO will continue to maintain contact with state institutions to raise their awareness of the issues facing its beneficiary communities and promote joint efforts for discussion and cooperation aimed at the solution of the issues and problems that vulnerable and socially disadvantaged groups face in Armenian society.
- Capacity-building and empowerment training sessions for 20 families, i.e. wives and daughters of Armenian labour migrants:
One 2-day capacity-building training course was attended by 10 families, i.e. wives and daughters of Armenian labour migrants, and dealt with business development and entrepreneurship; on how to start an NGO; fundraising; project design, management skills and human rights.
Another 2-day empowerment training course was attended by 10 wives and daughters of Armenian migrants on the topics of women’s rights and gender equality and feminist leadership.
The training sessions helped project participants to build their capacities and enhance their knowledge of business development and entrepreneurship; how to start an NGO, fundraising, project design and management, human rights advocacy, leadership and activism. Accordingly, with the knowledge acquired and the continuing assistance of NGNGO experts and personnel, they have the skills and opportunity to initiate activity in one of the above-mentioned fields, e.g. start a business, establish an NGO, or engage in the promotion and advocacy of women’s rights, thus ensuring their continuing development, empowerment and – most importantly – independence to sustain themselves.
One of the project trainees was so interested in the establishment of NGOs as presented during the first capacity-building training course, that after the project she approached the NGNGO staff and trainer and told them of her desire to start an NGO for the protection and advocacy of women’s rights. The NGNGO lawyer spoke with the trainee about the procedures for establishing an NGO, helped her put together and submit the relevant documents, and successfully registered the trainee’s NGO. NGNGO will continue to support the development and empowerment of this grassroots NGO through consultation and documentation assistance, fundraising support, and, if resources are available, also through the provision of small grants, technical assistance, etc.
As a result of the project:
- 50 beneficiary families received food assistance;
- 20 beneficiaries built their capacities and enhanced their knowledge in the fields of business development and entrepreneurship; on how to start an NGO, fundraising, project design and management, human rights advocacy, leadership, and activism.
- 1 beneficiary successfully registered an NGO.
We have received positive feedback and words of gratitude from the project beneficiaries both for the assistance and capacity building activities.
Author contact details:
NGNGO Human Rights and Advocacy Coordinator