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Our Shant

Shant Demirjian is a Syrian-Armenian volunteer at “Armenian Caritas” Yerevan office and he is involved in the migration and trafficking related projects. Shant talks on the initiation and importance of volunteering in humanitarian sphere.

Shant left Kessab for Armenia, because of the civil war. The Armenian populated town of Kessab is situated in the North –Western part of Syria, in the Aleppo Region. Besides Kessab, 9 villages out of 13 were Armenian populated too. 8 Armenian churches with the affiliated schools were operating in Kessab Region. Shant’s life was full of Armenian spirit in Kessab. He attended Armenian school, church and a cultural center. After the attacks on Kessab, leaving behind his home town, looted house, friends and family, childhood memories, Shant marked the beginning of a new life in the second homeland. Two years ago, when Shant came to Armenia, he was thinking that he had left a lot in Kessab and it would be hard to start everything here again. Now he is sure that there is a way out from any situation and even in the most inextricable situations one can even help others.

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This summer Shant visited France to participate in a Summer University organized by Secours Catholique - Caritas France. He met young people volunteering at different Caritas offices. In Summer school there were also refugees from different countries including Syria. Some of them also were volunteering in the humanitarian sphere.

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Staying a week together, living in the same place, on one hand hearing about the problems, and the distress they face, and on the other hand, witnessing how they could ignore their own problems and helping people with similar ones, he realized he could do the same here in Armenia.

“When I came back from France, I was very much impressed by the work of those young people and I also wished to start doing volunteering work here… Here at “Armenian Caritas” everyone welcomed me with love and warmness.”

It has already been two months since Shant is here, assisting in different projects, sometimes translating to Arabic for those Syrian Armenians who have difficulties with the Armenian language listening to the stories of returnees and refugees and trying to find some solutions also for himself.

During this short period of time Shant could become a favorite person for everyone in the office and all look for “our Shant” in the mornings.

“Every day after my classes at the university I am coming to “Armenian Caritas” to assist and encourage people, and I am sure that everyone here is waiting for me.

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