UNDP Armenia for Youth - Shifting the paradigm: expanding opportunities
“We know that equality of individual ability has never existed and never will, but we do insist that equality of opportunity still must be sought” - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Each year, UNDP Armenia teams up with the Armenian Missionary Association to provide young people with internship opportunities, under an initiative called “Youth Career Trail”.
Six-month paid positions are made available to around 60 young people from an employer of their choice. There is a wide range of possibilities: be it a private business, think-tank, civil society group or international organization! This year, three United Nations agencies – UNDP, UNHCR and UNDPI – joined the list of employers and hosted three interns.
Feeling that not enough had been done in the past to provide equal opportunities, during this year’s recruitment process a concerted effort was made to attract young people with disabilities in the open call.
Meet Anna, “Youth Career Trail” intern who joined UNDP Armenia in January 2016. During the six months of her internship (split between UNDP and UNDPI) Anna became an invaluable part of UNDP Armenia Human rights team, bringing a unique perspective to the role.
When she was four months old, she was diagnosed with Cerebral palsy. However, Cerebral palsy is not what defines her. When sending out her CV, Anna made no reference to her disability as she was thinking that nobody ever writes about their eye color or height in their CVs. In fact, Anna has never considered herself a person with disability. She’s sure that everyone has abilities and she has her own special ones. As she told us during the interview, her life motto is simple: don’t stop, believe in yourself and continue growing as a personality.
Anna is a lawyer interested in human rights, advocating for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Summing up her six month’s experience at UNDP, she said:
"This internship experience at UNDP Armenia was more than useful and worthwhile. It was a great opportunity to improve my every day working skills, for example: How to share your ideas with people? How to write an email correctly? How to use computer programs? And so on. These skills that seems so small and unimportant were more than useful for me. And most importantly, I met new people, contributed to the team discussions and felt the UN vibe”.
The team at UNDP Armenia tremendously enjoyed working with Anna, and will truly miss her drive, her amazing personality and endless sense of humor.
Anna also shared her future plans with us:
"My main goal now is to obtain a master’s degree in Human rights and I have decided to get it abroad by stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m sure that the skills and knowledge that I gained during my experience at UNDP will help me go forward and discover the human rights field as deep as possible”.
She’s going to specialize in the rights of children with disabilities as she believes that the only thing which can really change and make the world a better place to live in is the education for children.
UNDP Armenia wishes Anna good luck in her future endeavors, be that her lifelong dream of flying with a parachute, riding a bike or becoming an outstanding human rights lawyer and advocate.