The very first project of Shen NGO was construction of 17 houses in Stepanakert, Nagorno Karabagh, for refugee Armenians who had narrowly escaped Sumgait (Azerbaijan) massacre in 1988. Crisis that followed the collapse of USSR, resulted in impoverishment of many communities. With the support of our international partners we carried out over 350 projects throughout Armenia with special focus on earthquake stricken areas, villages populated by refugees and remote communities.
Wherever we initiate a project, the first thing we do is mobilisation of the community thus assisting villagers to get organized, transferring relevant knowledge and skills to the potential leaders. With the help of Shen regional representatives, the local activists take an active role in participatory needs assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of the projects as well as the further maintenance and operation. The most proactive Community Action Groups (CAG) become the basis for Community Based Organisations (CBO).
Internet is already available in most of villages of Armenia. It allows the rural population including CAGs to have access to alternative information. With the support of our partner from business community e.g. Orange Armenia (France Telecom) we brought broadband internet to the villages where the computer classes in the community centres are organised.