Photos by Lusi Sargsyan
The event was attended by nearly 300 children from Yerevan and Armenia’s regions and featured speeches by nearly 20 speakers between the ages of 12 and 16. In their speeches, the speakers spoke out about their issues of concern, suggested their options for solutions and set forth interesting ideas that had a vision for the future.
In an interview with Eritasard.am, TEDxKids@Yerevan’s organizer Kristine Sargsyan stated that the main goal of organizing such events is to make children heard and visible in the whole world so that they can share their ideas and views.
“It would be great if mature people actually listen to them speak. We adults very often don’t listen to children, don’t take their views and opinions into consideration, their hidden anxieties and don’t view them as aware beings since we think they are small and won’t understand or perceive anything. Throughout the past seven years that I have been working with children, I can state that they perceive and understand many questions more in-depth than adults,” the organizer stated.
When asked what the children have decided to become and which spheres they wish to make changes in, Kristine Sargsyan stated that they never orientate the children, but let them choose the scope of their studies, starting from politics and ending with natural sciences. The young people are rather experienced since they have passed certain stages. The children conduct comprehensive studies devoted to their selected topics. For about six months, they work on their topics as they talk to field experts, listen to various opinions, conduct their analyses and set forth views and ideas.
When asked which proposals are applicable and meet the conditions and standards in Armenia, Kristine Sargsyan stated that they observe every proposal and try to apply it.
“In reality, the children raise very specific issues that exist and remain unsolved. One of the girls raised an issue that is really important. She talked about education and asked why
Armenians study abroad instead of receiving a higher education in Armenia. Every child in Armenia dreams of receiving quality education,” Sargsyan stated.
Mariam Harutyunyan, who always speaks out about educational issues, believes that one doesn’t necessarily have to leave Armenia to receive an education. Armenia simply needs a certain model that will make children want to receive an education in Armenia. Mariam attaches importance to the three points in the study by the World Bank, including a staff of lecturers, a budget and freedom of education.
“These three points are quite in-depth. So, if we try to examine and understand what we have, we might make changes,” she stated.
The children’s issues were diverse and meaningful. They particularly talked about the fight against corruption, the pollution in Sevan, garbage disposal within communities, deforestation, development of the field of science in Armenia, the attitude towards disabled persons, discrimination, self-education and other issues that we face on a daily basis.
TedxKids@Yerevan 2017 was held in cooperation with World Vision Armenia and TUMO Center for Creative Technologies and with their support.