Union of Greek Communities of Armenia is a non-governmental organization, which unites Greek NGOs; communities in Yerevan, Alaverdi, Noyemberyan, Stepanavan, Vanadzor, Gyumri, Hrazdan and Artsakh.
The Union, which was originally called “The Union of Greek Non-Governmental Organizations”, was founded in 1994 in Tsakhkadzor. The founder was Pavel Leonov. He was followed by A. Kilinkarov in 1996, moving the Union Presidency residence to Yerevan. Five years later, in 2001, Union Presidency residence moved to Alaverdi, where functioned a large Greek community. Until 2007, Nikolay Feofanov headed the union. The latter was followed by President Arkadi Khitarov, who transferred Presidency residence to Vanadzor.
During the Presidency of Arkadi Khitarov, the Greek youth movement became particularly active. The youth of the Union repeatedly participated in international Greek festivals, competitions, and forums. The Union started membership in various international Greek institutions.
Maria Lazareva was elected as the President of the Union in January 2019. In the same year the Union was renamed “Union of Greek Communities of Armenia” NGO.
In 2020, the Union’s youth organization, “NISI” Cultural-educational union of Greek Youth of Armenia” non-governmental organization, was established with the aim of uniting young Greeks and Philhellenes of non-Greek origin in order to preserve and spread Greek culture.
The youth organization is headed by Diana Smbatyan.
The goals of the Union of Greek communities of Armenia NGO are:
- To unite Greek communities of Armenia
- To promote the revival and preservation of national self-consciousness, dignity, spiritual and cultural values, Greek traditions and customs
- To develop neighborly relations between Armenian and Greek nations based on the principles of democracy, equality and national dignity and respect
- To restore the historically Greek names of territories, monuments and churches.
- To preserve and teach the Greek language to new generations
- To cooperate with state and foreign authorities, commercial and non-governmental organizations of the Republic of Armenia for the preservation of national and cultural values.
Translated by Anushik Hakhoyan