A Year in Review at Hub Artsakh
Hub Artsakh Blog
Despite the adverse circumstances stemming from the imposed blockade starting in December 2022, Hub Artsakh not only sustained its activities but revealed itself to be more diligent than ever. The solidarity among our community deepened, and the Hub Artsakh premises became a vibrant hub, actively bringing together the youth of Stepanakert and beyond.
Over the course of these 10 months, we conducted 25 workshops, both in person and remotely. These workshops aimed to mitigate the impact of the blockade on the personal and professional development of our participants, with a specific focus on digital skills and self-management to adapt to the challenging conditions.
Amidst these obstacles, one of Hub Artsakh’s most significant accomplishments was ensuring the uninterrupted delivery of our services to beneficiaries. The resilience displayed by our team in the face of tragedy was possible thanks to the unwavering support of our international and Armenian partners and, undoubtedly, our community. Through these experiences, we have come to appreciate the true strength of solidarity and the indomitable spirit that binds us together.
On the other side of the checkpoint was Shoushan Keshishian, Hub Artsakh Director, who, unfortunately, found herself separated from the team due to the abrupt closure of the border. It took 10 long months of online communication and video calls before the team could reunite, under circumstances we had hoped to avoid at all costs.
During the exodus of the Artsakhtsi population after the horrific events of September 19th, Hub Artsakh acted as a safe haven for our community. Our basement was made available for anyone that needed shelter during the air raids, including children and elderly. Our emergency kits and medical supplies were at the disposal of anyone staying in the shelter, including candles, blankets, flashlights, power banks, painkillers, and more.
When thousands of people flooded into Stepanakert, having been displaced from surrounding villages/towns, Hub Artsakh opened its doors to anyone in need. Our chairs and tables were used for community lunches, our showers were made available for refugees, and our books provided some entertainment, particularly for the young kids.
We are proud to have been able to serve our community one final time, and we are determined to continue doing so in the years to come. Now based in Yerevan, Hub Artsakh will continue its activities and remain true to its vision and mission, responding to the new and evolving needs of the people of Artsakh that have been forcibly displaced to Armenia.
Highlights from our Programs
In the past year, our team experienced a significant surge in our activities against all odds, actively engaging with beneficiaries from Artsakh in the development of their projects. Gratitude is extended to our supportive partners and donors, facilitating the completion of two projects, with three more currently in progress, impacting the lives of not less than 82 individuals.
Idea to Impact
Launched in March, during the blockade, this program supported six entrepreneurs in transforming their ideas into operational projects. It was generously sponsored by the Philippossian & Pilossian Foundation.
Read our blogpost and discover the success story of Gurgen Baghdasaryan, a program alumni having made his project a reality.
Aimed at empowering 20 women in Artsakh, this initiative equipped the participants with digital skills and provided soft skills training with the objective to secure remote employment. The program, supported by Linaster and the Fondation Arménie, aimed to enhance opportunities for women in the digital space.
Launched in June, this ongoing program strengthens the capacity of young journalists in Artsakh. Conducted in collaboration with HETQ Media Factory and renowned journalists, it provides a long-term training program for participants to gain in-depth knowledge and practical skills in journalism.
Hovnanian Youth Fellowship
Supported by the Hovnanian Family Foundation, this fellowship aids 10 young individuals from Artsakh, aged 18 to 30, in developing innovative and socially impactful enterprises. Launched in November 2022, the program continues in Yerevan to support fellows in pursuing their learning and projects in their new environment.
Emergency Support Hotline
Initiated in October 2023, this hotline addresses the needs and challenges faced by refugees forced to flee Artsakh. Supported by the Hovnanian Family Foundation and through a strategic partnership with the ELL Partnership Law Firm, the hotline provides ongoing assistance, including support in securing employment and legal assistance.
Advocating for the Rights of the Artsakh Society
The need to share the experiences of the men and women of Artsakh has never been more urgent than in this past year and continues to be so. Our team, led by Shoushan Keshishian, actively contributed to advocacy efforts shedding light on the challenges faced by our compatriots.
Starting in August, Hub Artsakh’s first in-house research report was published. A rapid needs assessment was shared with numerous media outlets after several weeks of investigation and interviews on the living conditions of the population of Artsakh under blockade. This aimed to inform humanitarian, diplomatic, and regional/international political actors about the serious humanitarian crisis unfolding in the territory.
To further increase international visibility on this issue, we launched the campaign “Your Time for Artsakh” through our social media platforms, calling for volunteering, both in-person and, mostly, online. Over 80 individuals across continents responded to the call, offering their services in fields as diverse as marketing, management, finance, political science, aviation, and architecture.
Now in Yerevan, we are pursuing our efforts to highlight the tragedy that unfolded. Ensuring that refugees are aware of their rights and can advocate for them in the public sphere was a fundamental step. In November, Lawyers from the ELL Partnership Law Firm organized an information session for the Artsakhtsi public to answer their questions and inform them of their rights.
Embracing Resilience and Celebrating Our Community
Amid adversity, we wanted to continue celebrating resilience and moments of solidarity within our community—moments that are even more vital to bring some relief to our team, members, and compatriots during these challenging times.
Generous supporters enabled Hub Artsakh to invite the beneficiaries of our programs for a day of escape on the shores of Lake Sevan. The days were filled with games, film screenings, and enriching discussions, all made possible by the warm hospitality of our hosts. A necessary moment to warm our hearts.
An invitation from our partner, Impact Hub Yerevan, to participate in their Christmas Bazaar also was the occasion to bring together the creative minds and small businesses of Artsakh. More than twenty stands showcased honey producers from Artsakh, fashion designers, and artisans. The cuisine of Artsakh was also featured with stands offering zhingyalov hatz and bakhlavas that were continually enjoyed.
In the face of uncertainty and daunting challenges, we’ve united, offering support and demonstrating resilience that defines our organization. Our heartfelt appreciation goes to each member of our team for their unwavering commitment, adaptability, and hard work.
Thank you for being an integral part of our collective journey. Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful holiday season and a new year filled with peace, joy and prosperity.
Hub Artsakh team
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