It is a typical day for me. I’ve finished my classes at university, and I am heading out to work.
I always take the metro so as not to be caught in the typical traffic of the centre of Yerevan.
As I enter the metro, the bright and colourful pictures of Yerevan, with green paint all around, instantly make me smile. People look at me, thinking that I am crazy. It is not common for an Armenian to smile in random public places for no apparent reason. The EU has already brightened up my day by financing this project and allowing me to go safely to work and be happy and more appreciative of the city that I live in. I am not originally from Yerevan but my studies and work brought me to the capital and, being so focused on career development and everyday activities, it is sometimes easy to forget to look around us and see what a treasure Yerevan is to show to the world.
After finishing work, I rush to the Matenadaran museum. On the street I notice a sign promoting the “Stop the Flow of Corruption” project and, through infographic visuals, I learn about the aspects of the project more in detail, particularly the public sector, e-service tools, and civil society empowerment in Armenia. What a multidimensional and inclusive method of involving so many individuals and companies from different sectors and platforms.
I arrive to Matenadaran to take part in a meet-up with Christian Danielsson, Director-General for EU Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. I have an exceptional chance to ask him the question of who he thinks can be the change makers in our country: youth, and international investors like the EU, he responds.
Being a traditional student who is still unsure about what to do with her prospective career as a postgraduate and wanting to try everything, I go home, study and find the time to explore some new opportunities online. I look at different programmes, go through my emails and see announcements about Erasmus+ study exchange opportunities, then explore the Hrant Dink Foundation Fellowships to open up my mind to collaboration with our friends in Turkey. I also think about applying again to repeat my once-in-a-lifetime experience taking part in the Armenian Model European Union. The EU truly opens doors for every curious mind.
I am confident about coming back to Armenia, after studying abroad. I know that after gaining the appropriate expertise, I will be able to launch my own initiatives, register my own business and, through e-governance tools funded by the EU, make my voice heard in my country.
There is nothing better than standing firmly on the ground, knowing that a strong power believes in Armenia’s future and the abilities of its young generation. Many people say that Armenia is a landlocked country, caught in its past and unsure about its future.
I think the youth, who will soon become the leaders of this country, will solve it all, because our dreams are heard, our voices are loud and our ideas are empowered by many supporting institutions. I am lucky to be part of this narrative which is promoted by the EU.
Author: Nune Harutyunyan
This story is the winning entry for Armenia in the #EUaroundU writing contest organised by the EU Neighbours East project, inviting young people between the ages of 18 and 26 from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine to tell their story of how the EU has impacted their personal life or community.
Read the other winning entries:
Azerbaijan – Stronger and together with the EU, by Sara Rajabi
Georgia – The EU and I, by Georgi Kakhniashvili
Ukraine – My Europe, by Lilia Ovcharova