Cleanup Day in Vanadzor on the eve of Independence Day
On September 19, on the eve of Independence Day MY STEP Foundation, in cooperation with the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, carried out environment cleanup activities in the Vanadzor community. Works were undertaken in the recreation areas along the Vanadzor River, in the scope of “Plastic Free Armenia” Project.
Anna Hakobyan, Spouse of the Armenian PM, Chair of the Board of Trustees of MY STEP Foundation, and Shombi Sharp, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Armenia, attended the event and took an active part in the works. Hovhannes Ghazaryan, Executive Director of MY STEP Foundation and UN Resident Coordinator Shombi Sharp welcomed the volunteers, highlighting their active participation and wishing them all great mood and high team spirit.
The staff of the Foundation also participated in the works, joining volunteers and cleaning up the 1.5 km polluted areas along the Vanadzor River, restoring the charm of virgin nature within a few hours. 450 garbage bags (120 liters each) were filled with waste, 200 of which were sorted (plastic waste) and sent to recycling, and the rest was sent to the landfill.
Hovhannes Ghazaryan, Executive Director of the MY STEP Foundation stated, “On the eve of Independence Day, with organization of this event we wanted to emphasize and highlight the need for daily love, care and concern for our Homeland. Armenia and its every corner is our home, and it is our honor to keep it clean and neat. And yes, to love the Homeland is not to dump the garbage in non-designated areas. Let’s remember a simple truth: waste should not be thrown in nature, it has no place there. Today's volunteers are our ambassadors in their homes, in the community, and this is a chain of changes that should not be interrupted.”
The works were carried out in game-competition format. Key to the success of this event was teamwork. Participants received encouraging practical gift sets with the emphasis on the fight against plastic (tote bags, glass containers, notepads, illustrated books, etc.). These gifts will remind the participants of the work they have done and the need and importance of carrying out such actions on a regular basis.
"We hoped for an active participation of community representatives. I have to say that we are unspeakably excited about such responsiveness and participation. One of the incentives behind the event was to stress that it is us who are responsible for the waste we generate and dump into the environment; we are also the ones who create a clean environment.
We do hope that during such events, young people will see and realize that through personal initiative they can make a difference in their community. The event at least provided practical work experience to the participants for the implementation of similar projects in other communities”, said Davit Shindyan, MY STEP Foundation Environmental Program Coordinator.
An environmental seminar followed the works. At the end of the event in a clean environment, the participants enjoyed the performance by “Clocker” rock band, famous in Vanadzor, with the anticipation that their work will be appreciated and preserved.
Note: “Plastic Free Armenia” Project is being implemented by MY STEP Foundation. The idea behind is to replace single-use plastic bags with reusable ones, by encouraging behavioral change in the society which, in its turn, will bring a change to the culture of plastic consumption. The project is funded by the MY STEP Foundation, the UNDP Global Environment Facility's Small Grants Programme, and the UN Resident Coordinator Office.