Armenia: Gifts In Kind Point to New Careers
“Success in work is about trying the impossible to make the possible happen,” said Lusine, age 30. She and Gohar, 53, have just completed a vocational course in garment design and construction at the Social-Educational Center run by the Shirak Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The women are coming away with marketable skills that will help them re-enter a challenging job market.
Armenia’s educational system doesn’t match today’s market, so unemployment is generally high. But the textile and garment industry is growing in Gyumri, Shirak’s administrative center and Armenia’s second city, so vocational training creates opportunity.
As part of a 14,500-item shipment, IOCC—partnering with Lutheran World Relief—delivered 3,000 sets of sewing supplies to the Social-Educational Center, supporting the course Lusine and Gohar took. The center’s educational program serves between 250 and 300 participants yearly, providing women who are unemployed with training on in-demand occupations, including culinary arts, woodworking, cosmetology, and accounting.
Equipped with new skills and confidence in their expertise, Lusine and Gohar are planning for the future. They’ve both applied for full-time jobs in garment making and are outlining steps to open their own business. “It is just the beginning,” they told staff.