ArmenTeKort aims to develop a scalable model to combat the injustice of endemic poverty.

We define endemic poverty as a segment of poverty in general, with the added injury of low self-esteem which makes freedom of choice, self-sustenance and resilience almost impossible without external help. We want to challenge our generation to eradicate this injustice.

We started a demonstration project which will bring together 5000 privileged and 5000 disadvantaged individuals in a one-on-one relationship. We work within a framework of “empowerment”, which has already proven its value. Underprivileged individuals are encouraged to discover and develop the latent force in themselves, in order to build up their resilience. After the ATK-project, new competences can be acquired based on this (re)built resilience. Eventually, these competences can be used as the underprivileged individuals themselves see fit, according to their own ideas on how to function in society.

To do this, we train volunteers to act as buddies, and match them one-on-one to a disadvantaged buddy for a period of two years. Empowering our volunteers to successfully take on this significant challenge is an innovation in itself, and the result of an intensive training. We combine high-performing learning methods such as blended learning, Massive Open Online Courses, flipping the classroom (animated self-study with practical exercises) and highly qualified trainers. Our educational program is further enhanced with catered training programs, a web platform of knowhow, a secondary helpdesk, and additional support from experienced counsellors, as well as experts of the target group. An integrated learning feedback loop connects the know-how gathered in the field with our training programs. 

However, ATK is not a new structure in the fight against poverty. We do not pretend to have a definite approach, but invite everyone to join our systematic search towards sustainable and scalable solutions. Fighting endemic poverty requires more than welfare work. Although structural aid and adequate protection of rights are imperative, they need to be broadened with solidarity, networking and friendship. We encourage social inclusion of the underprivileged, to make their new empowerment sustainable. This project will not directly remedy the material situation of poverty, but wants to give the underprivileged a choice regarding their capabilities and the possibility to function in society. The movement we aim to create will subsequently influence the political, cultural and socio-economic structure of our society, and help solve inequality and social segregation.

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