“It was 2-3 years ago, a beautiful girl, whose name I unfortunately do not remember, visited me, registered my data and everything started from that day,” smiles 78-year-old grandmother Lucia, who lives in a dormitory on Shirak street, Yerevan.
“Despite the challenges, being a volunteer is very compelling and inspiring, ”19 - years old Edita Mkrtchyan says, who has been volunteering in Armenian Red Cross Society since 2018. She is a student at Yerevan State University of Economics. "I volunteer at the "Visitor" Program, which means that my main responsibility is to be with the elderly living alone in a dormitory and to help them in every possible way. I remember before my first visit I thought it would be easy, there wouldn't be any difficulties, but I soon realized that it was psychologically depressing to see the conditions in which they lived. All of them need someone who is willing to listen to them, talk honestly, and last but not the least to help them. Besides, they also help me a lot with their kind advice.
"In a short time, the volunteers have become so close that I am looking forward to their visits. I can hardly remember Edita's first visit, because there are lots of volunteers and new people coming often, but I'm so happy and grateful to them, because they find time for me every week and visit me. Edita is so close to me that I call her granddaughter. It is a great happiness for me. And I wonder which would be the reason to go on living, if there were no volunteers in my life. I cannot imagine my life without them. Loneliness is not a good thing, and thanks to volunteers’ visits, I forget about my daily worries at least for a few hours. I thank the Red Cross, Edita, and all the other volunteers for everything they do.”
“Although I have a wealth of volunteer experience, none of them can be compared to volunteering at the Red Cross. Here, under one roof, there are people from many different shperes, who are ready to share their knowledge and experience, thanks to that I constantly improve my skills. And the grandmothers' love, warmth, and genuine smile are so priceless that it's hard to imagine something more rewarding.”
Translated by Arus Hovhannisyan, ARCS volunteer
Photo by Gohar Abroyan, ARCS volunteer