The Republican Headquarters of Student Brigades (HUJ) was founded in 1965 and is registered as a non-governmental organisation, with headquarters situated in Yerevan, Armenia.
HUJ is a member of the Coordinating Committee of International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) at UNESCO and the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations.
At present HUJ organises volunteer exchanges with 120 partner organizations abroad and holds a database of registered volunteers exceeding 3000 people.
During Soviet times every year Armenian student brigades, each having about 10 thousand students, worked in big construction areas and enterprises of the former Soviet Union and Armenia. Right after the disastrous earthquake that struck Armenia in 1988, HUJ formed rescue teams which spared no effort to save more than thousand living people from the ruins. Every year from 1989 to1993 HUJ organized brigades, consisting of 14-15 thousand people, to work in the earthquake zone doing rehabilitation and construction work. They actively participated in the reconstruction of 7 towns and 149 villages, which had appeared on the verge of destruction. From 1993 till 1999 HUJ organised the care for lonely old people at home by 600-700 students of Medical Universities and colleges of Armenia. Since 1992 HUJ is implementing international volunteer exchanges.
Aims and Objectives:
The essential aims and objectives of HUJ are as follows:
- Organise the activities of Armenian and foreign volunteers in international workcamps in Armenia.
- Send Armenian volunteers to international workcamps, seminars, trainings, workshops, educational and other programs abroad.
- Organise seminars, trainings, and conferences in Armenia.
- Organise the participation of foreign volunteers in long/ medium term and EVS projects in Armenia, as well as that of Armenian volunteers in countries of Europe.
- Take care of orphans, children with special needs and socially indigent people.
Activities of HUJ:
- Every year 250 Armenian volunteers participate in ecological, construction, rehabilitation, cultural, aesthetic, social projects, seminars and educational workcamps abroad.
- Every summer HUJ organises international and joint workcamps in Armenia, where Armenian volunteers hand in hand with 150 foreign volunteers do ecological and renovation work, take care of sick and disabled children, contribute to the aesthetic education of orphans and lonely children.
- Every year Armenian volunteers leave for European countries to do their EVS (European Voluntary Service, supported by Erasmus+ Programme of European Union) with HUJ as their Sending Organisation.
- European long-term EVS and Weltwärts (voluntary service supported by Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany) volunteers are hosted in projects in 7 Host Organisations supported by HUJ.
- HUJ organizes joint projects with UN agencies: UNDP, UNWFP, UNHCR, UNICEF; with OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and with foreign embassies in Armenia.
- HUJ implements its activities with the RA Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health, Labour and Social Care and Ecology. HUJ cooperates also with other governmental bodies, funds and NGOs.
Different programs organized by HUJ:
- 30th Technical Meeting of the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations in Yerevan, Armenia
- Training Courses “Victory of Good over Evil”, "Democracy, Freedom of Speech and NGOs", "Human Rights - Learning and Training", "Volunteering Go for Better World" held with the support of the Youth in Action Programme of European Union.
- Joint seminar with EstYES (Estonia) “Volunteering as an Effective Means to Support Orphans and Children with Disabilities” held with the support of the Youth in Action Programme of European Union.
- Anti-Corruption “Building Capacity of the Civil Society to Participate in Anti-corruption initiatives in Armenia” joint project of the Government of Armenia, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) “Corruption Perception and Risks in Higher Education” implemented by HUJ.
- Seminar for “Medium and Small Enterprises” organized in cooperation with OSCE- Office in Yerevan.
- General Assembly and Conference of Alliance of European Voluntary Service organisations in Armenia, Yerevan “International Voluntary Service as means of effective cooperation of youth of the post-Soviet countries and the countries of the European Union”
- Post Camp Event of the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organizations “When the East meets the West” in Yerevan, Armenia
- “Human Rights-Learning and Training” seminar organized by HUJ-Voluntary Service of Armenia supported and organized together with the Italian Government and OSCE office in Yerevan
- International seminar of CCIVS at UNESCO “Volunteering for a vision”
- Monitoring on “Qualification examination for candidates to receive licenses for advocate’s activities” administered by the RA Chamber of Advocates, American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA/ROLI) and USAID
- Long term program in taking care of disabled people in their homes
- Rescuing and renovation work in Spitak earthquake area