Voluntary Service of Armenia – 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 full member of two big international networks, active in the field of Internarional Voluntary Service: Coordinating Committee of International Voluntary Service at UNESCO and 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.
The main activities run by HUJ are for and with volunteers, mainly the young people. The regular activities of our organisation include exchange of volunteers with different organisations, opening of international workcamps in Armenia, preparation and sending volunteers to different trainings and seminars, as well as EVS and other long-term projects.
HUJ also gives an opportunity for young people coming from different countries to pass an internship at HUJ or in different projects.
The essential aims of the organisation are to raise the social competences and employability of the youth by organising activities for national and foreign volunteers in various programs in Armenia (workcamps, training courses, medium and long-term projects) as well as facilitating the participation of local and national volunteers in similar projects abroad; to take care of orphans, children with special needs and socially indigent people by proposing activities to and for them and making them more visible for local, national and international communities.
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.
In 2015, HUJ celebrated the 50th anniversary of Armenian student brigades movement, where the bright pages of this long history were presented to the public.