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“While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.” —Luke 24:51

Jinishian Memorial Program
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Eliza Minasyan 
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Debate National Championship: A celebration for all

Photo of the debate team celebrating.

The debate team celebrates. Photo used with permission."

The National Debate Championship is the closing event of the Youth Engaged in Society Debate Club Project (YES), bringing together students from 80 high schools throughout Armenia. Initiated by the Jinishian Memorial Program–Armenia (JMP), the debate clubs and closing event improve active participation in dialogue and action around human rights and democracy in Armenia. The students also learn to be respectful, patient and tolerant toward each other.

The 2008 championship included 14 teams and more than 100 students. One participant from the city of Gyumri said, “personally, the most challenging, yet the most exciting thing about the championship was that our team united representatives from 6 different schools from our town, most of whom were our rivals during previous debates. Now, I can state that I have five new friends and hope this friendship carries on.”

During the championship, teams debated four topics related to civil society. “It is remarkable to see the diversity of opinions these young people have formed, to witness the work of their inquisitive minds and analytical skills. I am not ashamed of saying that I myself learned a lot from these debates,” said one judge.

One of the mentors of a team from the capital city Yerevan said about the competition, “I think this championship is a wonderful opportunity for students to meet their peers from other schools, for students from the regions to explore Yerevan and to spend a few days as members of a family called the YES project.”

Eliza Minasyan
Country Director, Armenia
Jinishian Memorial Program


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