Today, 15 representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) received certificates of completion of the educational certification program for civil society organizations at the American University of Armenia.
The educational program is organized in the framework of the EU funded “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” Project, which is at developing capacity and skills of the civil society in Armenia to start an constructive dialogue with the government and local self-government.
“When entering the auditorium, one immediately feels the positive atmosphere. Indeed, the cooperative approach in this kind of atmosphere is the most important in the environment of non-governmental organizations,” Mr. Emin Yeritsyan, President of the Union of Communities of Armenia, member of the Consortium implementing the “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” project said un his welcoming speech when handing the certificates.
Ms Christine Hovsepyan, a member of the Armenia Tree Project, a participant of the training, notes that the participants of the training were not only from NGOs, but also there were participants who had work experience in government agencies, which in its turn allowed to understand the main hindering factors of the cooperation among the Government/Local Self-Government and CSOs. “The problem is that we have not yet learned to communicate correctly. The problem is much clearer than we can imagine. The most important thing here is that we have learned to hear each other and speak the same language.”
“In my opinion, one of the best moments of all these courses is that we get acquainted with other partners in the field. It was definitely important in terms of knowledge and skills, because the knowledge and the resources that experts, who have years of experience, have given to us, can be used in the future,” Mr. Vahe Khachikyan, representative of “NGO Center” Civil Society Development Organization said.
Ms. Aida Stepanyan from “Civil Consciousness” Liberal NGO said in a conversation with us that the overall objective of the program and the means used are the most effective and particular attention should be paid to the circumstance that Armenia has a problem of democracy. “The most important actors within the democratic state are representatives of civil society. In these processes CSO coalitions, unions, joint work will just promote democratization.”
Mr. Karen Zadoyan, “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” project, who is also the President of the “Armenian Lawyers’ Association” NGO, participated at this stage of the training as well. He expressed readiness to constantly assist the NGOs which will have any issues related to their activities. “I am hopeful that you were satisfied as well and will leave with gained knowledge and new skills. We will continue our work in the framework of incubators or upcoming announcements of the project,” Mr. Zadoyan said.
The training program is carried out in the scope of the “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” project which implemented with the financial support of the European Union by a Consortium of civil society organizations, which are the Armenian Lawyers’ Association (lead organization), Agora Central Europe (NGO based in the Czech Republic), the Armenian Centre for Democratic Education-CIVITAS, the International Centre for Human Development, the SME Cooperation Association and the Union of Communities of Armenia.