Echmiadzin, Armenia – Two graduate students from the AUA Master’s Program in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (MA TEFL) just finished conducting their Capstone projects at Mer Doon, a non-for-profit organization. Alvard Karapetyan and Tatevik Harutyunyan are introducing a new English language course customized for the NGO based on the residents’ abilities and interests.
Located in Echmiadzin, Armenia, Mer Doon provides orphaned and disadvantaged young women (ages 18-24) a loving and nurturing place to call “home.” Its mission is to educate and empower girls with skills to live independently in mainstream society.
The goal of this partnership is to provide Mer Doon with an English language program that can be taught on a regular basis, is relevant to the girls’ goals, and is designed to improve English proficiency. AUA faculty advisors for this capstone project are Professors Irshat Madyarov and Galust Mardirussian.
This content-based course incorporate topics and situations that focus on empowerment and entrepreneurship. Specifically, Mer Doon’s residents learn the language to help them in internships and jobs and interact with guests that visit Mer Doon throughout the year. Alvard and Tatevik each taught the course for 20 hours. At the end of the pilot program, Alvard and Tatevik will make a public presentation of the results of their project, which will also be made available to Mer Doon.
Tigranuhi Karapetyan, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Mer Doon, said, “We are very happy that Alvard and Tatevik have chosen to work with our girls at Mer Doon. We are excited to enter into this new partnership with the AUA, and hope that this is one of many collaborations in the future.”
Dr. Madyarov stated, “At our MA TEFL program, we encourage our students to take on projects that address real-life problems and make a positive impact on the community. We are excited about Alvard and Tatevik’s project and thankful to Mer Doon for reaching out to us.”
Mer Doon’s mission is championed by many corporate, organizational, and individual supporters. Mer Doon’s corporate and organizational partners include U.S. Embassy Women’s Mentoring Program, Embassy of Lithuania, Microsoft Armenia, Megerian Rugs & Carpet, Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR), Echmiadzin Municipality, Gavar Orphanage, Vanadzor Orphanage, Armenia Tree Project, Armenian Eyecare Project (AECP), SOS Children’s Village, Daughters of Vartan, and St. John Armenian Church – Detroit Women’s Guild.