Ofelya G. is 14 years old. She is a 9th grade student. It is already 2 years since she has been attending the "Smile Club" organized by the Armenian Red Cross Society, which operates in one of the dormitories in Yerevan, where she lives.
”When the volunteers visit us, our day becomes happier and more interesting. We learn a lot from the volunteers, we play different games, it's a lot of fun”, she says.
In October 2022, the Armenian Red Cross Society, with the support of the Austrian Red Cross and the Liechtenstein Red Cross, restarted the "Smile Club" program, within the framework of which informal educational activities are carried out for children aged 7-14 living in 2 dormitories in Yerevan and Abovyan to promote their integration and overall development. ARCS volunteers visit the children every day, help with their homework, and also organize different classes, such as English, fine arts, etc., giving the children the opportunity to gain deeper knowledge about specific subjects.
The volunteers also organize visits to theaters, museums, and other cultural places. They celebrate New Year, Easter, International Children's Day, and other holidays together.
”Ofelya looks forward to the classes and has progressed in school as well,- says Marine, Ofelya's mother,- we are very grateful to the volunteers for their work”.
Ani Gevorgyan has been a volunteer of the Armenian Red Cross Society for more than 5 years and is already considered a leader volunteer.
”First of all, my organizational and teamwork skills have developed, I have also made many friends, - says Ani, - thanks to being a volunteer at the Armenian Red Cross, I was able to be abroad on an exchange program, which gave me a great opportunity to gain knowledge and experience. It is very nice to see the progress of children in school "Smile Club", when the child you work with starts to get 9-10, becomes more disciplined and dutiful.