Lianna, her husband and two children arrived to Vardenis, Armenia, on the very first day of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Before, she lived in the Shahumyan district, where she worked as an English teacher. In Vardenis, Lianna tried to find a job to take care of the family, but she couldn’t find work. "Psychologically it was extremely difficult. I lost my house, my job and as a result, I found myself in an environment where everything was new and the future uncertain. There were no vacancies for teachers," says Lianna.
In September, Lianna received an invitation to participate in a tailoring course. “From the very first day, I fell in love with sewing and started to study enthusiastically,” remembers Lianna.
After attending the course for several weeks, staff at the “Youth for Change” organization, UNDP’s partner, offered Lianna a paid on-the-job training in a garment factory to acquire skills, work experience and professional knowledge to help her with her future job hunt or even create an opportunity to continue working in the same workplace.
Funded by European Union Humanitarian Aid and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia, on-the-job trainings are part of the "Our lives, our future: Supporting self-recovery and resilience of conflict affected communities in Armenia" project that supports displaced people in re-establishing their livelihoods. Beneficiaries work in local enterprises for three months and receive a salary during this time. At the end of the internship, the employer, depending on the possibilities and the demand, can offer a permanent job to the beneficiaries who have passed a successful probationary period.
“I am undergoing a paid training, deepening my knowledge, and at the same time gaining work experience. Now I am quite skilled, I can sew children’s clothes, bedding, t-shirts, aprons, cloth bags. It is very encouraging that in addition to studying, I can also get a salary and take care of my family's needs," says Lianna. The employer, the director of the garment factory, says – “Thanks to the program, we were able to provide a salary, necessary resources and support to the displaced family.”
“Now I plan to deepen my knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship, to establish my own sewing atelier. I really want to both continue sewing and pass on my knowledge to other women," concludes Lianna.