Following “Revival 1”
As the human brain, our Nation has two hemispheres, the Homeland and the Diaspora. While our Homeland has a government, no matter who is in power, the being of the Diaspora as a “Thinking Entity” is essential for its own continuity, as well as that of the Nation.
DiasporArm’s mission is bridging among Diaspora communities, organizations, groups and individuals, with the objective of creating synergies among those sharing values and goals. The objectives are primarily economic, educational, cultural and social. It refrains from political or religious orientations.
Below are some propositions, the primary of them being the constitution of a Task Force, which will independently suggest an agenda and the hierarchy of its items.
DiasporArm has invited successful entrepreneurs, economists, political scientists, educators and intellectuals, all independent thinkers, people with vision and strategy, to form a round table group, representing a critical mass to be audible in the Diaspora and the Homeland. The round table will set an agenda and tackle the imminent issues of the Nation.
2. Building up and Bridging Communities
DiasporArm supports and bridges among non-partisan Armenian community councils in the Diaspora, to create synergies by pooling experiences, methodologies and acquire leverage by going Global. DiasporArm also contributes to the establishment of such councils in countries where there is a gap. DiasporArm has the goal to federate the different autonomous community councils.
3. Bridging Armenian organisations
DiasporArm invites Armenian organizations and media having social, educational and cultural objectives, such as the AGBU, AMAA, COAF, Eurnekian, Future Armenian, Tashir Foundation, Tufenkian well as the various media means to pool their resources, experiences and cooperate whenever useful or necessary.
B. The Networks
1. Armenian Students’ Network (ASN)
Initiated by DiasporArm, the Armenian Students’ Network (ASN) bridges Armenian students across the globe, acting on three networking stratums; Students, Educators and Entrepreneurs. Educators mentor, give students orientation and introduce to various grants, scholarships, fellowships, etc. Entrepreneurs offer guidance in terms of professional orientation, offer part-time jobs, internships, sponsor projects and hunt talents for their enterprises (see here).
2. Trade and professional Networks
DiasporArm bridges among existing trade associations (Doctors, Lawyers, Jewellers….) in different countries and encourages the establishment of such associations wherever they are missing.
C. The Workgroups
DiasporArm foresees the forming of the following independent Diaspora Global Workgroups/Commissions and their respective mission statements:
Contribute to the economic interests and development of Armenians and Armenia.
2. Education Commission-committee
– Bringing up a generation of elite, successful and influential members of society,
– Undertaking communication, education and inspiration, to make our heritage and homeland a subject of pride,
-Reaching the vast majority of the Diasporan school-age children who do not have access to Armenian schools,
-Backing the Armenian schools of the Diaspora
3. Legal Counsel
Offer support to the ROA in international court cases and Armenian institutions of the Diasporas.
4. Diplomatic and strategic initiatives
Mobilize the resources, expertise and lobbying power of the Diaspora to have an impact on foreign governments and Global Institutions, to support the Republic of Armenia.
b. Strategic initiatives
Undertake strategic studies and plan the future of problematic Diaspora communities, secure their well-being and consolidation of our institutions.
5. Social Support
Offer social support to communities and families in the Homeland and the Diaspora.
D. Supporting the government of the ROA
With the concern of consolidating the state of Armenia, make the Diaspora competencies in different domains available. The formation of a competent Diaspora Council is essential to make the Diaspora-Homeland communication more fruitful (see here).
Donors and Board of Trustees
The structure will be initiated by donors who will secure the operational expenses and elect a board of 7 trustees.
The advisory board will be composed of the 7 trustees and 8 invited competent political scientists, educators, economists. The Advisory Board will:
-Set/endorse the Bylaws of DiasporArm,
-Suggest an agenda of the imminent and important issues of the Diaspora and the Nation
-Suggest the directors for the Executive board and sub-committees in different domains or projects (legal, educational, economic, etc.).
Executive board and Sub committees
The executive body will be responsible for the implementation of the various programs defined by the Advisory board. It will be ramified into specialized international committees in each of the following areas of competence:
-Media and communication,
-International Relations (with states and global organizations).
In many of the above areas, the role of the DiasporArm will be to coordinate the actions of the various existing associations and organizations with the objective of creating the desired synergy. It will serve as an incubator to support the creation of initiatives by organizations and individuals, without getting involved in financial or organizational operations.
2. Building up and Bridging Communities
The Armenian Diaspora lacks unifying structures to take care of the educational, economic, social, cultural life of its communities.
An example to look into can be the Chinse Wenzhou province community in France, which has an unwritten tradition of solidarity, where the community elders support the youth originated from their province, landing them about 100 000 Euros with no interest and no payment due date, helping them start businesses. An estimated 40 000 businesses have been established in France, owned by Wenzhou youth who benefited from such loans totalling 10 Billion Euros (See the report here in French).
Another benchmark community structure by which we must measure our performance is the FSJU (The French Jewish unified social fund). The annual budget of the latter has risen from 24M€ in 2017 to 60M€ in 2020, whereas the principle organisation representing the Armenian community in France does not have appropriate facilities or budget…”
We can be inspired by the Jewish community, their methods of collecting the Dime, their social work, their democratic governance and transparency.
DiasporArm aims to establish unifying foundations in our communities where the donors have a say, the accounts are transparent, and where those who receive are accountable.
3. Bridging Armenian organizations
While the Armenian organizations are independent, their cooperation could be purposeful in some and indispensable in other cases.
Organizations can cooperate to get funding from global institutions such as the EU, USA, UN, World Bank; together hire professional agencies to prepare dossiers, each using them with their connections.
The covering of the Aragats with rain forests by the EU environment life program and other leading global institutions can be such a project.
Most Diaspora educational institutions are managed by groups, such as the AGBU, AMAA, AVC, Gulbenkian, Hamazkayin, Haigazian University, Mesrobian.
The cooperation of the above institutions is indispensable for having a common curriculum, teacher training, school management model, particularly for developing an online educational program to reach children who do not have access to Armenian schools, the recruitment and training of educators to mentor high school, college and university students, to encourage and orient them.
To be continued.
January 2, 2022