I am Svetlana Hovhannisyan, 25 years old. I have a Master of Psychology of Management, as well as a Bachelor of Linguistics; presently I work as a Recruitment Specialist. I speak Armenian, English, Russian, Italian and Chinese. I have been in the EYP Armenia for 3.5 years now.
Nataliya Borys: It is my pleasure to talk with Svetlana Hovhannisyan, an active EYP Armenia member, a vice-president of the AYSOR session, AYSOR4Innovation, and just my good friend. We have been talking a lot about recent changes in Armenia, her vision of these changes, Yerevan and many other things. I was so impressed by the last AYSOR session, that I asked Svetlana her impressions too and she gladly agreed to talk about it.
Nataliya: How the AYSOR4Innovation session 2017 is different from other EYP sessions to your mind?
Svetlana: AYSOR for innovation gave the opportunity to participants to come up with business projects, apart from the resolutions. The delegates got familiarized with social entrepreneurship and learned how to realize their ideas.
Nataliya: Who did choose the topics for the AYSOR4Innovation session? How do you justify the choice of topics?
Svetlana: The choice of the topics is upon the presidency; the topics get revised/ approved by the European Youth Parliament. I did not participate in the selection of the topic (this is not the vice-presidency responsibility), but I think they are compliant with nowadays problems, they include the innovation aspect, and some of the topics indeed cover the needs of the digital era.
Nataliya: Some topics seem to be highly professional and quite difficult for young Armenians, for instance the whistleblowing issue. What do you think about it?
Svetlana: Yes, I agree, however, if we never try, we will never learn, even if it seems to be difficult. I think that this is one of the topics, which needs to be repeated during further EYP sessions, so this issue gets more and more understandable, and new solutions can be found.
Nataliya: Which project was your favorite one during this session? Why?
Svetlana: I think I like the projects of Eco-Land, Back to roots (committee on ITRE) and Women in the Kitchen (committee on FEMM). Eco-land, because it involved isolated regions in Armenia by giving them more opportunities, Women in the kitchen because it can be a great inspiration for jobless housewives, who can by this way grow up professionally, be employed and feel useful in the society.
Nataliya: Why did you accept the challenge to be a Vice-president of the session?
Svetlana: Every single session of EYP is a big challenge, every time I accept it, regardless of my role. I learn new things, I pass on my experience and discover myself more and more. Having presided for 2 times before, been through chairing and jurying, I have never been a vice-president, so this was the very time to take on that big responsibility, and I enjoyed it!
Also, I was thrilled by the session theme, Innovation, and the opportunity to see the sparkling eyes of new EYP-ers and pass on to them my experience.
Nataliya: Which was the funniest moment of the session?
Svetlana: I think the funniest moment was when the Committees were asked to raise placards in the most “Armenian” way! It was so funny to see from the stage how fast the delegates were with their ideas, proving their great team-work and making us laugh so hard 🙂
Nataliya: As you know, the FEMM committee often fails to pass their resolutions. However this time, the committee managed to pass their resolutions and even the project. Is it not a small victory for AYSOR and for Armenia?
Svetlana: Indeed, the AYSOR for innovation was different due to its business projects. The projects made the ideas more realistic and the delegates could believe in change they wanted to make.
Nataliya: Which topics would you like to include in the discussion in the future?
Svetlana: I would like to include topics on visa facilitation for the EaP countries.
Nataliya: I was surprised by the level and preparation of young Armenians. Some of them were brilliant and there are so young. How do you find the level of Armenians compared to other sessions?
Svetlana: I am so much excited about this, the level of the youngsters who participate in EYP is getting higher with each year and this is why I am getting happier to see how many new people get involved in EYP.
Nataliya: How did the EYP Armenia change your life?
Svetlana: It did, totally. EYP is a lifestyle. It’s an ocean wave, which hits you with bright and smart people, new way of thinking and the freedom of speech and thought. It did hit me well.
Nataliya: How do you see the future of Armenia?
Svetlana: I see it bright and prospering because I believe in the Armenian youth of today!