On July 26th, a group of seven volunteers marked the first trip to Akhpradzor.
Despite all the difficulties, our courageous driver Armen surprisingly made it all the way to the village.
Our team was led by our computer provider, Tigran Msryan who brought two other friends, Ruben and Aramazt to help set up the computer lab.
Artashes Avagyan, Project Manager of the Armenia team, accompanied my brother Azad and I on the trip.
We were very surprised at how wonderfully the room was prepared when we got there. It was the only room in the entire school with normal walls, electricity, carpeting, and curtains. It was indeed unbelievable. Mr Shirak Ghougassyan, a teacher and farmer in the village, had led the team to renovating the room.
The boys spent over nine hours setting up the computers, wiring the connections, setting up the Internet, and of course drinking coffee with the villagers.
The end result was amazing. With six computers and one instructional computer, the lab was ready for the camp!
The three teams : Akhpradzor, Yerevan, and America, celebrated the results of everyone's hard work.
We were able to receive very slow Internet connectivity to the computer.
Two of the USA team members are on their way to Yerevan to begin the HRI project in Armenia.
The rest of the team will be arriving to Armenia by August 1st.
The USA team will spend a week meeting with the Armenian student team to develop and organize the HRI camp in Akhpradzor.
On June 3, 2011 the United Nations announced that Internet is a basic human right that should be available by the government for all its citizens.
A group of highly motivated and aspiring leaders have donated to HRI to buy new flip cameras for the village school.
During the National Student Leadership Conference's Journalism and Mass Communication Program, several students were inspired to make a difference in the village of Akhpradzor Armenia.
On the last day of the conference, over 40 students approached Nanor Balabanian and donated money to buy flip cameras for the children in the village.
Students from across the country, as well as overseas, also expressed their interest to start their own HRI clubs on their high school campuses.
Many have already signed up to the Pen-Pal program and are interested to promote it at their local high schools.
Global participation of student leaders is promising for the future of HRI.
We are only one week away till our trip to Armenia.
Our team in Armenia has informed us that room renovations have been completed. The computers have been purchased waiting for their installation.
Meanwhile, our teams are working hard to gather supplies, review our lesson plans, and prepare for our trip.