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Prev. 25 Jul 2018

Menu.am with diaspora youth

 

Menu.am with Diaspora Youth

Interview with the Minister of Diaspora of the RA Mkhitar Hayrapetyan and the director of Menu.am Sevada Baghdyan about the "Ari Toun" (Come home) project․ Hello, thank you for accepting to have an interview with me. My first question is directed to the minister. 

Sir, recently there has been information about the changes in the “Ari Toun” (Come home) program. Would you clarify the changes? Besides, what was offered to the participants before? Accommodation, food, air tickets. Which of these were funded by the program?

This year the changes were done not only in the “Ari toun” (Come home) program, but also in the “Summer School of the Diaspora” program. We have combined them in our new educational and cognitive program “Qayl depi toun” (Step to home). It is intended for young Armenians aged 13-21 and it will be held from 10-24 of August. You may know that the reasons for carrying out the programs in this format were the suspicions about the existing corruption risks. The elimination of such factors was principal for us. However, at the same time the implementation of the programs with new emphasis and freshness was inevitable.The applications of participation to “Qayl depi toun” (Step to home) program were accepted till the 30th of June. We had around 550 applications from Armenian communities of 26 countries around the world. The program will be renovated by content and format, which will allow to explore Armenia and its bright, interesting and smiling people.

Speaking about the program "Ari Toun" (Come home), I would like to mention previously the program was carried out part by part during the summer months. The participants were living in host families and had camp days. The fare for transportation from residence country to Armenia and the opposite way was paid by the participants. Breakfast and dinner was on the host families. Lunch was provided by the Ministry. Without giving estimates, I would say that in fact there were problems with the organization and preparation. There were also shortcomings with the logic of approaching and communication. We have fixed the omissions and we will do our best by combining our experience with our ideas.

 Is a full modification of the program possible?

 I think I have talked about this while addressing the first question. I would like to mention one more time that the “Ari toun” (Come home) program has undergone a rebranding. Now we have the new “Qayl depi toun” (Step to home) program during the creation of which we tried to ensure that there is young spirit and color and optimize every day for maximum productivity.

I’m sure that during this program the young people will fall in love with Armenia, so we have to be extremely careful and caring and we have to pass them the sincerity and the loving atmosphere that has been present here for months.

Menu.am and other companies have made you a cooperation offer after your announcement. How do you evaluate this? And considering this example what further possible developments do you see for private sector in state program?

The acceptance of more than 500 participants in the same program by the Ministry of Diaspora is an incredible event. Now a transitional state is in progress for those participants which couldn’t return their air tickets and therefore had a problem due to the temporary suspension of the program.

Under this circumstances we started to actively cooperate with number of organizations within framework of the “Ari toun” (Come home). Thanks to a joint cooperation the food delivery service menu.am was providing food to the program during the transitional stage. It is gratifying to know that other partners of the company have joined menu.am in this program. Converse Bank and gg also expressed willingness to join the program’s sponsoring-teammates.

We are very thankful towards everybody. The state saved millions of drams thanks to these partnerships, and, more importantly, by this we are prompting the private sector to a new-level quality and to a mutually trusted unique corporation culture.

Sevada, it is not the first time we see creative business-approaches by menu.am. What was the motive? Please give the details of the business-motivation.

 

Our participation does not have any business interests. There is just willingness to be a part of the strengthening of the bond between Armenia and diaspora, which we think is a vital point for Armenia’s further development. Diaspora is our biggest capital. It constantly has to feel the support of the motherland. We have increase the OSG of the bonding between Armenia and diaspora. We also attach great importance to supporting the new government, as their success is the guarantee of our country's success and the quality of life of its citizens.

 

Have you ever tried to participate in state programs and what response did you get?

Menu.am has always participated in and supported various charity programs which aimed to create a good future and a good generation in Armenia. However, this is the first time that we collaborate with the government. I would like to say this will not be the last cooperation with the government. In the near future you will hear about new projects.

By following the “Ari toun” (Come home) program’s example, is it possible to integrate the cooperation between the state and private organizations while the programs are still in the idea development state and to create a platform for similar programs where the businessmen of all the fields will have a possibility to the cooperate freely? (This question is for both)

Mkhitar Hayrapetyan

I can surely say yes. The effective cooperation between the state and the private sector based on healthy partnership should become reality. 

Sevada Baghdyan

I think this is a great idea and will be effective. After starting this cooperation, when the information spread in the social media, a lot of our partners wanted to join us and help the government. This means there is a lot of willingness, but there is a lack of information. This kind of platform will solve this problem.

While I have the chance, I would like to mention the names of those who joined us and helped to format this program - Sis Natural, Work & Roll, Paraqari Shawarma, Thüringer Bratwurst Armenia, Tao, Black Angus and Vapiani

Prev. 25 Jul 2018
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