Allison Young

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Description of Service

Ms. Allison Young entered training on June 8, 2004 in Dilijan, Armenia where she completed an intensive 11-week program in Eastern Armenian language (176 hours), Cross-Cultural studies, and Community Health in Armenia. At the end of training, she received a language score of Intermediate-Low.

Allison was sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer August 23, 2004 in Yerevan, Armenia. She was assigned to be a health teacher at School No. 3 in Berd, Armenia, a town of approximately 8,000 people. Allison taught grades one through ten, and classes encompassed such subjects as nutrition and exercise, dental hygiene, self-esteem building, and reproductive and women's health. In addition to classes at School No. 3, Allison gave reproductive and women's health classes for teenage girls at the other schools in Berd, and with Dr. Asia Mardanyan, physician, taught a seminar for young women at the Berd Technical College on reproductive and women's health. These classes were all conducted in the Armenian language.

In March 2005, Allison attended the Peace Corps Project Design Management training in Tzakadzor, Armenia which taught volunteers and their counterparts how to organize projects and write grants.

In August 2005 at the Mid Service Conference, Allison received an Armenian language score of Intermediate-High.

In September 2005, Allison started working with Dr. Asia Mardanyan at the Berd Polyclinic. She wrote a mini-grant for $500 from Peace Corps Small Project Assistance funds to repair the water system within the Polyclinic. The water previously had not reached the third floor and laboratory, was leaking in the basement, and was creating a hygiene problem since the doctors did not have running water in the sinks in their rooms and the toilet was not functional. The grant allowed the Polyclinic to repair the plumbing so that all the doctors on the third floor and laboratory could have running water to their rooms. At the Polyclinic, Allison also held an English club for doctors to increase their capacity to acquire new health information. This club met twice a week and focused on speaking and vocabulary.

In January 2006, Allison helped to create a local non-governmental organization named "Will and Health" with Drs. Asia Mardanyan and David Harutunyan to focus on community health education in the town of Berd and its surrounding villages. With $1,800 received from Saint Francis Church of Potomac, Maryland, an office for Will and Health was furnished with a computer, printer, conference table and chairs. A library containing 60 health-related books in the Armenian and Russian language was also started, and accessible to the Berd community without charge.

In November 2005, Allison helped to coordinate a $6,000 project at the Berd Kindergarten to renovate the bathrooms with funds raised by Jack and Eva Medzorian and Armenian diaspora groups in America.

Under the Gender and Development Initiative, Allison organized the annual March 8th Women's Day Essay Contest with the Armenian organization Center for the Development of Civil Society and Svetlana Aslanyan in 2005 and 2006. The Essay Contest was administered to ninth grade students around the country on a subject related to women's rights and issues. Three winners were chosen from the nine regions in Armenia and attended an awards ceremony in Yerevan, Armenia where guests from national and international civil rights organizations spoke. Allison also participated as a camp counselor for one week in one of the Girls Leading Our World summer camps in Vanadzor, Armenia in July 2005.

In August 2005 and June 2006, Allison participated as a camp counselor for one week at Eco Camps in the towns of Navur and Gavar, Armenia, which focused on environmental education for local children ages 10-13.

In May 2006, Allison performed on the Armenian cannon in a concert in Gyumri, Armenia organized by another Peace Corps volunteer to promote local young musicians' original works. In July 2006, Allison organized and performed in a concert in Berd, Armenia along with other Berd musicians.

At the Close of Service Conference in April 2006, Allison received an Armenian language score of Advanced-Mid.