The AYF Youth Corps program began in 1994 with nine volunteers venturing to Artsakh a mere two months after a cease fire agreement was signed. The volunteers worked in the village of Ashan, in the Martuni region to refurbish a school gymnasium and soon became an important part of the fabric of village life there.
In 2008, the AYF decided to expand the program to include running of summer camps serving local youngsters in Armenia and Artsakh, thus expanding the foot print of Diaspora Armenians in the homeland.
To date some 200 Youth Corps volunteers from the Western US have participated in the program, impacting thousands of young Armenians in Gyumri, Proshyan, Martuni and Stepanakert in Artsakh and for the first time, in 2014, in the border village of Baghanis.
The key to the success of the program has been the enthusiasm of the volunteers from the Western Region, the excitement and anticipation of the children participating in the program in Armenia, as well as the consistent and generous support of the community.