The best way to predict the future is to create it
August 28 – 30, 2015
Our initial plan of 2 seminars for 13 orphaned children for three days in Aghveran, turned into 4 seminars for 70 children and then one more for the hotel staff , which gave us a substantial discount on our accommodations.
The message of our seminar, and its success, seems to have quick spread and we have received inquiries from organizations in France and Germany that we will be following up on.
Career Path: A three-Day Seminar in Aghveran organized by Armenian Orphans Fund (Canada, representative- Secretary/Treasurer Robert St-Germain), in cooperation with Terres d’ailleurs (France, representative- President Sarkis Arbajian), NGO “Aregak” (Armenia, representative- President Varduhi Khachikyan), with the participation of the orphaned children aged 15 to 17 of Yerevan N 2 Regional College.
The following main concepts of the seminar were:
• One should have a goal.
• One should work out the path that leads to that goal.
• One should not deviate from the path which sometimes can be slow and difficult.
• Even when one is forced to deviate, he/she should not forget about his/her goal and should attempt to come back to it.
• To reach the goal everything should be done, every type of work, even the one that has nothing to do with your goal. The most important thing is to learn from it and make it serve your goal.
• One should always knock every door, act as an initiator.
As in all programs, the Armenian Orphans Fund’s motto is “BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE”!
An article special is published in the website of “Armedia” Information, Analytical Agency.
When the organisers found out, by chance, that some of the orphaned children of “SOS Children’s Village” were spending their holidays in Aghveran, they offered them a pleasant surprise, to give them a session on the same theme. Mr. St-Germain presented an evening lecture for them.While the discussions, exchange of ideas, debates, question and answer made the atmosphere warm and filled with positive emotions.
The Seminar took place from August 28 to 30, 2015 in Aghveran, in a beautiful rest house, the “Alpian Violet”, which, for a second time accepted the children in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
The vocational seminar, “Career Path”, aimed at presenting the young ones, who were to start their professional paths, the right methods of finding a job, the skills necessary for writing CVs and motivation letters as well as the rules of communication with a potential employer.
Secretary/Treasurer Robert St-Germain of the Armenian Orphans Fund (Canada), the head of the Career`s center of the same college Liana Amiraghyan, the lecturers of Geography Shushan Navasardyan, as well as economist-analyst of “Armedia” information Analytical Agency Lilia Amirkhanyan had lectures a sessions on the above mentioned themes.On 28 August, during the first day of seminar, Mr. St-Germain, who was the main organizer of the seminar, presented socio-economic and geographical peculiarities of Canada.
The case of Canada, as an example of a new and different culture from the one in our country, was of interest to the participants in terms of raising their awareness on the issues. On the same day during the second part of his lecture, Mr. St-Germain presented his own career path. Naturally enough the present pensioner’s career path in several different spheres and 35 years of work experience in the Canadian government, have become a vivid practical demonstration of the presented theoretical material. The career path of Mr. St-Germain was full of a number of important nuances, that are discussed in the text books, and was bright and shiny like Mr. St-Germain himself.
From the very beginning of the seminar, and during all sessions of the three days, Mr St-Germain also stressed the fact runs all, that one of the most import rules in life was to be honest. To be successful in any aspect of life, one had to be honest with their family, their friends, their colleagues and, most important of all, one had to be honest with themselves!
At the end of the first day of seminar, as a sessions` distraction, one of participants demonstrated her skills and talent and performed a brake-dance and song for the lecturers and her fellow participants.
During the second day of seminar the lecturers’ of the college, Liana and Shushan gave lectures on how to write CVs and motivation letters. After the lectures, the participants wrote their own CVs which are to be kept as bases for later revisions. In addition, the lecturers organized special negotiation game, during which the participants took the roles of employers and employees. It was also very interesting for the children, especially for those who have played the role of employer.☺
On the third day of the seminar Lilia Amirkhanyan gave a lecture on “Language of Gestures” and “How to Communicate over the Phone” topics.
The first lecture was on the peculiarities of the telephone conversation with an employer, while the second lecture was on the language and gestures during personal meetings.
After the lectures the participants were divided into two opposite groups. The task of the first group members was to present persuasive arguments on the issue decided in advance to make another group members take a decision that is in the interests of the first group members. The game aimed at revealing the debate skills of the participants and discussing their mistakes.
At the end of this day the participants sang Armenian folk songs under the open sky, it was very romantic and has a nice particularly for our guest from Canada Mr.St-Germain.
The third day of the seminar was in more non-formal atmosphere. The seminar organizers gave the college students evaluation papers to fill in. Afterwards the certificates were presented to all participants.
At the seminar’s end the participants had an opportunity to eat Armenian traditional barbecue, the initiator of which was president of NGO “Aregak” Varduhi Khachikyan.
The seminar was given again for two days in Yerevan for other students of college, who by this or that reason could not attend the seminar in Aghveran, so they had the opportunity to listen to the advice of Mr. St-Germain in Yerevan.
After two days of seminar in Yerevan, the organizers had the opportunity to give another session for orphans students of Vanadzor branch of State Engineering University of Armenia (region of Lori).
It was a rare opportunity for the children away from Yerevan, to be able to listen and to communicate in English. They were very inspired by contact with a professional and they got a great pleasure from the valuable advice on the threshold of a great life.
As it turned out, the two seminars we had planned for turned out to be four.
In actuality, there was a fifth seminar. The staff at the “Imperial Palace Hotel” pleaded to be able to attend the seminar at the college, but work schedules prevented them to be able to participate. Since the hotel had given us a substantial discount on my stay and the staff had been “exceptionally” friendly and helpful, I succumbed to their pleas and on the Sunday, we meet in their conference room, generously provided by the hotel management, and had ourselves another seminar!
Finally it is worth mentioning that the relations of the seminar organizers and participants became friendlier after they exchanged contact details. What the impact of the seminar in the professional path of the participants will be; will become known in the future.
All in all, the first step has already been taken towards achieving the Armenian Orphans Fund’s motto of “building a better future”!.