H2O Heroes: Uniting for Armenia’s Freshwater Future

In 2019, a group of passionate individuals laid the foundation for ECO Group, envisioning a community united by a shared commitment to environmental stewardship. This vision quickly evolved, and by 2020, we extended our reach beyond the confines of school walls, transforming into a dynamic youth-environmental initiative with a mission to make a tangible and positive impact on the world around us. Our goal was simple but ambitious: to foster a generation of environmentally conscious youth who are empowered to lead and inspire change.

One of our most impactful projects is the H2O Heroes Campaign, an environmental initiative dedicated to World Water Day. This campaign is the result of a powerful collaboration between ECO Group, the Alternative Youth Center, and the “Eco Group” youth-environmental NGO. Together, we aim to combat the pollution of Armenia’s freshwater resources and to raise awareness about the importance of environmental conservation.

The H2O Heroes Campaign is a testament to the power of collaboration in addressing environmental challenges. The campaign involved young activists from Vanadzor (the 3rd largest city in Armenia), aged 16-30, who participated in various stages of the project. During the first phase, participants attended capacity-building trainings on topics such as “Freshwater Pollution and Combating It in Armenia” and “How to Make Visual Creative Postcards.” These trainings equipped them with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand and address the pressing issue of freshwater pollution.

One of the highlights of the campaign was a visit to a water treatment plant. Here, participants had the opportunity to see firsthand the stages water goes through before reaching consumers. This experience was eye-opening for many, as it underscored the complexity and importance of maintaining clean water sources.

In the second phase of the project, participants put their newfound knowledge and skills to use by creating informative postcards. These postcards were designed to raise awareness about the issue of freshwater pollution and to encourage others to take action in combating this problem. The creative process was not only educational but also empowering, as participants saw their efforts materialize into tangible advocacy tools.

“This campaign gave me good friends and a deeper understanding of freshwater issues in Armenia,” says participant Angelina Yeganyan. “It motivated me to work towards a green and clean planet. The knowledge I gained and the friendships I formed are invaluable.”

Another participant, Aram, shares, “I loved this program because it taught me about our ecosystem and sustainability. I also learned to use Canva (a platform for creating viaul content with no design experience) confidently, which I can now apply in other areas of my life. This campaign was an amazing learning experience, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

The partnership between ECO Group and the Alternative Youth Center for the H2O Heroes Campaign highlights the importance of joint efforts in addressing environmental challenges. By bringing together diverse groups of young people, we are creating a powerful network of environmentally conscious individuals who are equipped to lead the charge in conservation efforts.

“I believe campaigns like these empower and motivate young people to tackle environmental issues creatively,” says Seryan Yenokyan, the President of ECO Group NGO. “The Alternative youth center is a vibrant space where young people can gather, play interesting board games, and brainstorm innovative initiatives. It’s a place filled with youthful, creative energy and a welcoming environment.”

Monika Chilingaryan, the Vice-president of ECO Group NGO, adds, “Alternative has so much warmth and care that you don’t want to leave. It’s a second home for many of us.”

The success of the H2O Heroes Campaign has inspired us to continue our efforts and to expand our reach. We are committed to organizing more environmental campaigns under the umbrella of “Youths4EcoCampaign.” Our aim is to tackle various environmental issues through innovative and collaborative approaches, empowering young people to be the change-makers of tomorrow.

As we look to the future, we remain dedicated to our mission of fostering a generation of environmentally conscious youth. Through continued collaboration and creative initiatives, ECO Group and the Alternative Youth Center are paving the way for a sustainable and greener future. Together, we are not only addressing today’s environmental challenges but also inspiring the leaders of tomorrow to build a better world.