SOAR is the only organization whose singular mission is to provide humanitarian relief to orphaned Armenians around the world. As such, SOAR's Volunteer Program offers unique opportunities for Armenian and non-Armenian students and professionals to volunteer throughout the year with orphaned children and adults in Armenia.
The Program has three components:
1) The Professional Delegation involves short-term medical, dental, and physical therapy missions to undertake a specific project.
2) Student Internships allow undergraduate and graduate students to spend a semester or full academic year volunteering at one of the orphanages in Armenia. School credit is available when appropriate.
3) Summer Camp volunteers provided assistance to one of two orphan summer camps in Armenia. The placements can be between one week and summer-long. Students and adults with interest and training in athletics, art, foreign languages, music, and religion are welcome to apply.
All three components of the volunteer Program are overseen by SOAR-Detroit.
Please visit http://soar-us.org/locations.html to explore the institutions in Armenia where volunteer programs are available!
If you are interested in applying for the Volunteer Program, please fill out the appropriate application below or contact Carol Palaian at firstname.lastname@example.org
Scan and email completed forms to:
- Volunteer/Internship Application
- Dentist Volunteer Application
- Physical Therapist Volunteer Application
Dr.Vatche along with the Fresno medical mission headed by Mr. Berj Abgarian made their second dental mission visit to the most vulnerable population of Gyumri community. Dr.Sunny and his wife Michelle have become the favorite among the staff and children and they look forward to his visits. Twelve boxes of vitamins were also supplied for the children.
A letter from a volunteer...
Dear Salpi, dear Hasmik, and dear Hripsime,
I hope this email finds you well. It has been over a week since we returned from our trip and it is still very prevalent in all our minds. I want to thank you for welcoming us with open arms and for the opportunity to help out in the smallest of ways. For the students, my colleague Mike and myself, this was truly one of the most memorable learning experiences we have had the opportunity to participate in. The selfless nature of your volunteers, the kind-hearted nuns, the open-minded and welcoming children all helped ensure that the 10 days we could spend in Armenia will never be forgotten. One of my students recently wrote an article about the trip in the school newspaper and I quote him...
"I can safely say that this turned out to be one of the most meaningful trips of my life. I grew to develop attachments I never thought I would and got to know one of the oldest and richest cultures in the world. I would definitely recommend everyone to take part in this trip as it is a truly unique experience, filled with nothing but positive emotions and learning experiences."
The students have also been required to write reflections on their experience and I quote 2 of them:
"The daily classes were various such as English, French, PE, sewing, the gymnastics and dancing in the afternoon was always organised by the teacher who inspired me the most- Mr. Petrios. He was strict but kind, strict with every behaviours but did his best to care every individual who came to the place, he was always optimistic even though he has been busy for every continuous day. For most children in the orphanage, I could see their optimism in their attitudes towards life, that’s also the reason why it firmed my ambition to do something like this in the future, because I saw hope in their eyes."
"I have certainly gained more understanding about the people living with a standard which is way below us, but expect that and the fact that they have strict rules, they are just like everyone else, and to many extents, more mature than many of us due to their varied background (some being very tragic), they are more understanding, adorable and most importantly, they have a very pure heart, their mindset might be simple, but original and clean, I have not seen or felt this for years."
For me personally, it has been years since I have had the honour of working with such a meaningful organisation. Not only was I surprised at how attached my students became to the residents of the camp (they were all crying when we departed) but also the effort that is put into ensuring that the young participants have as much fun and receive as much love as possible. My only regret is that we upset so many of the children when we left, and this is something I still struggle with. Like my students, I too hope that I can return one day, but for a longer period so that I do not disrupt your routine so much.
Thank you so much for allowing us to participate. Thank you for your patience with all my queries and worries. And a special thank you to Hasmik for organising all the small details during our stay.
Wishing you a good summer.
With warm regards
A medical mission to Children's Home Gyumri
And to Mari Izmirlyan, Nork, and Kharberd, as well as medical supplies for Mari Izmirlyan