Lernakert Culture House Renovation
Shirak province’s Lernakert community is located on the western slope of mount Aragats, 10 kilometers south from Artik town and 35 kilometers away from the province capital Gyumri. This community was established in 1840 and was inhabited by refugees from Mush and Alashkert. Lernakert has a population of 1,413 and has a culture house, a kindergarten, a medical point, a community center and a secondary school. Starting from July-September 2017, “Women for Development” NGO (WFD NGO) has established a community active group in Lernakert, and conducted capacity development trainings as well as community needs assessment discussions. The main goal of the community active group (CAG) is to empower the self-development of the community, to raise existing issues and to promote community participation and mobilization.
During past two years, several issues raised by CAG have been partially resolved, such as creation of healthy environment and satisfactory conditions for organizing the children’s and youth’s spare time. Thus, with the support from WFD NGO, the village kindergarten’s kitchen was renovated and adequate sanitary conditions were created for organizing daily food provision process for 55 children. Additionally, a playground was built, which is being used by approximately 300 children and youth. The playground is located in front of the culture house, which is a building dating back to 1960 and has not been renovated for a long time. Small projects implemented in the recent years in Lernakert created positive changes in the children’s routine and revoked hope among the villagers, which in turn triggered new ideas and new projects.
Back in May of 2019, as the result of discussions with the CAG and other community members, it was decided to make the renovation of the culture house a priority issue. New project proposal was developed, with an aim of establishing after-school clubs for children and youth, as well as organizing the spare time of the adults. Currently this project is ongoing. This was possible due to the joint fundraising efforts of WFD NGO, Lernakert mayor’s office and community population. Last August the project was successfully implemented and now there is a one renovated room in the culture house. This room serves the community elders and youth as a space for playing brain games such as backgammon, chess and checkers.
“Women for Development” NGO has partnered with The Paros Foundation to raise the funding necessary to renovate three additional rooms in the culture house. These rooms will serve as spaces for organizing various clubs for village kids, such as singing, dancing, sewing and painting clubs. The Lernakert mayor’s office is fully supporting and willing to take care of organizing the renovation works necessary for implementing this project.
The Lernakert community is in need of funding in order to expand their current culture house with the renovation of three additional rooms, which will serve as spaces for cultural development of over 300 children of pre-school and school age, as well as organization of the spare time of approximately 80 youth and students.
Short Term Impact
In the short term Lernakert culture house will have three newly renovated and furnished rooms. More than 300 children and 80 youth will have an opportunity to participate in various cultural clubs in their village free of charge, and for organizing their spare time in interesting and effective way.
Long Term Impact
In the long term more than 300 children and 80 youth will have an opportunity to participate in various cultural clubs in their village free of charge, and for organizing their spare time in interesting and effective way.