Ministry of Finance building, Yerevan
YEREVAN — The Armenian nongovernmental organization Educated Generation is registered at a nondescript street in downtown Yerevan. But if you show up at the address you find an empty apartment.And if you ask the neighbors about Educated Generation, you’ll likely be met with a shrug of the shoulders. One local resident said he had “never heard of them before.”
Just a few doors down on the same street, the story is the same. A self-proclaimed human rights group called Arbanyak (Satellite) and a health-care NGO called Country of Youth are both registered at one address. But the offices are empty and the building manager told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that she’d never heard of either organization and that the building was actually “a rental house for foreign guests.”
What these organizations have in common, besides mystery, is that they are among 31 Armenian NGOs that received government grants in the period 2010-12 worth a total of $1.2 million, according to information that the Yerevan Center for Freedom of Information has obtained from the Armenian Finance Ministry.
None of the organizations on the list, however, has actually played a significant role in Armenian civil society.