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Parish Social Ministries in Northern Armenia

Project Duration: 01.06.14-31.05.2017

Beneficiaries: The target group of the project is the parish leaders and volunteers in 5 villages in the Lori region of Armenia. The final beneficiaries are about 75 % of the population (average 2500) of the 5 targeted vilaages.

Location: Lori Province- Katnarat, Katnaghbyuir, Petrovka, Saratovka, Blagodarnoye villages

Goal:
The goal of the project is to improve social conditions in 5 villages in Northern Armenia by encouraging Catholic Social Teaching inspired behavior change in parish leaders in order to increase their capacity to promote Christian inspired volunteerism and to mobilize volunteers in their community to support self-determination and community development.

Description:
Seeking to help communities address their development needs, CRS/South Caucasus developed a regional Parish Social Ministry (PSM) project that adapted conventional PSM approaches to the individual needs of Armenian Caritas, Caritas Georgia and the Roman Catholic Community of Baku. The project began in 2006 As a result of this project “Armenian Caritas” experienced excellent success at developing PSM groups in six villages. They developed a unique, integrated and locally adapted PSM training module, devised to provide facilitators with the necessary knowledge and skills to promote PSM within their communities. Paired with a small grants component, the participants and the local communities were able to witness the practical and tangible results of PSM/CST principles. Five of the six original groups thrive today, over two years later. Their ability to support self-determination is evidenced by their continued work in community improvement activities, carrying out their own fund-raising and volunteer recruitment activities. “Armenian Caritas” wanted to expand the PSM concept to another 5 villages (Katnarat, Katnaghbyur, Petrovka, Saratovka, Blagodarnoye).

The project promotes creation of PSM committees, who work on volunteer basis to research, formulate the problems and implement projects that may solve the most urgent needs. The overall approach is more of sustainable nature as there is minimum involvement of “Armenian Caritas” staff and the Parish priest in the core implementation. We serve as an inspiring, guiding and capacity building.

Partner: Caritas Austria (Innsbruck)

Project manager: Gayane Norikyan