June 27, 2018

New programs for locals and tourists in Dilijan signal development of Armenian resort town

The government has approved IDeA’s other development programs for Dilijan.

Mediamax - Although the calendar marks summer holidays, the major school of Armenian resort town Dilijan is anything but quiet. The students enjoy the long-awaited freedom, while the parents come to the school to learn new skills. The reason for this unusual state of affairs is the three-year grant program “Initiative for the Development of Dilijan and Adjacent Communities”, implemented by the Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA) Foundation in cooperation with the European Union and the Armenian Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development.

Residents of Dilijan and neighboring Hovk, Haghartsin, Gosh, Khachardzan, Aghavnavank and Teghut are attending workshops of 13 different kinds, from needlework to guesthouse management, branding and foreign languages.

Mechanical engineer Anna Yesayan is almost finished with her jewelry classes. Once Anna completes the workshop, she will try to make the skill into a source of income.

“When I saw the advertisement about these workshops, my first thought was it could help me work from home, solve some financial problems. When I’m done with the classes, I will buy some materials and tools. I can make minimal investment and progress step by step,” says Anna.

Women of different ages, who attend the workshops organized within the grant program, have the same plans. 31-year-old artist, fashion designer Anna Abovyan has already finished the needlework and carpet weaving classes. Now she comes to the jewelry workshop, learning the skill along with taking care of her three children.

“I have plenty ideas what to do after the program. There is a branding workshop and I can create a brand now. Anything is difficult in the beginning, but I’m sure things will go well for us,” says Anna Abovyan.

Over 300 people from Dilijan and adjacent communities attend the workshops. Dilijan and Adjacent Communities Development Initiative’s Project Manager Tatev Sargsyan says they will help the best students to find jobs.

Apart from skill development among local population, the grant program also aims to increase the attraction of Dilijan National Park in terms of ecotourism. Four trails and a cycle path with corresponding signs are now under development in the area around Lake Parz, a popular tourist destination.

If the guests need a programme for entertaining activities to find in Dilijan, they can learn it from the information center in Dilijan City Park, which will be open in late July after a major improvement.

 

The park had been neglected for years and can no longer attract either the locals or the tourists. IdeA launched the improvement project worth USD 145 000 in early spring to make the park a place of rest and entertainment again. The alleys, benches and garbage bins will take their rightful places, the lighting system is to be modernized, and the improved playgrounds will be safe for visitors once again.

“We are working toward a place that is as close to nature as possible, as integrated in the environment as a city park could be. Dilijan residents and the guests of the town will be able to rest and spend time with their families there. Further maintenance should be efficient, because this is not a commercial area. The project is aimed at improving the city infrastructure,” said Project Manager David Iskandaryan, Dilijan Development Program.

 

The government has approved IDeA’s other development programs for Dilijan. The foundation plans to improve the city lake, build a stadium and a health complex. Dilijan Development Program solves the issue of temporary and permanent jobs as well: over 95% of workers involved in city park improvement are local residents.

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