|Nazareth Seferian (photo credit: Lumen Cinematography)|
YEREVAN, Armenia – The American University of Armenia (AUA) is very pleased to share that Nazareth Seferian, a 2007 graduate of the School of Public Health (SPH), has recently been appointed Armenia Country Director of ONEArmenia, a platform for development programs in Armenia that centers on transparency, innovation, and participation.
As Armenia Country Director, Nazareth hopes to see ONEArmenia act as a perfect bridge between Armenia and the diaspora, serving as the point of contact for Armenians both inside and outside the country who are looking to improve their homeland. “We see ourselves as a catalyst and platform for change that can pool efforts from different people and organizations. At the same time we want to be able to tie the Armenian community emotionally. It’s not only about the projects that we do in the field; it’s also about the short films we produce and the social media posts we make about the positive changes going on in the country today,” he said.
Nazareth himself is a member of the Armenian diaspora, having been born in Canada but raised in India to Armenian parents who were originally from Lebanon. He moved to Armenia in 1998 to study medicine and later enrolled in AUA’s School of Public Health, as he felt it was a field that would allow him to make a bigger impact. His time at AUA set a benchmark for work standards that continues in his everyday life today. “The first thing that AUA taught me is how to learn. That is the most important thing that you can ever teach anyone. It instilled in me a love of learning that I didn’t have before,” he said.
For members of the diaspora who are thinking about coming to Armenia, Nazareth sees AUA playing a big role in their decision. “I think AUA, just by being this amazing institution, is doing a great job. It’s one of those institutions in Armenia that gives you hope and makes you want to be in it for the long haul.”
These days, Nazareth’s focus is on building ONEArmenia to be just as influential. Started in 2012, ONEArmenia has supported projects that range from greenhouses in Berkaber (Tavush region) to an environmental monitoring initiative with the AUA’s Center for Responsible Mining. ONEArmenia uses crowdfunding to involve people from around the world in their projects. Their focus on transparency and accountability means that even if you donate a small amount, you will know how your money was spent.
In March 2015, ONEArmenia launched their newest project in Kashatagh to provide the community of Aghavnatun with a much-needed health clinic. At the moment, the only alternative the villagers there have is a nurse who works from home and a larger facility that is 2 hours away.
To learn more about the latest campaign and contribute, visit http://campaign.onearmenia.org
You can also learn more about all the projects ONEArmenia has taken part in, as well as the history of the organization, here.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.