Strong Kids, Bright Future
According to the results that were obtained through the research conducted in 2011 by the Yerevan Medical University among adolescents in 20 schools, around 5.8% of school-aged children in Armenia are considered obese, and 13% are overweight; they lack physical activity and lead a 'couch potato' lifestyle. Children with hearing impairments and motor disabilities are more exposed to health issues as they usually do not have the opportunity of doing proper physical activity and do not have adequate facilities in which to exercise. The Special School for Children with Hearing Impairments in Nork is the only institution in Armenia that provides a 12-year secondary education to children who are deaf or have a hearing disorder. The school can host up to 350 students who receive a full education, including studying sign language and learning a wide range of arts and crafts. However, they lacked proper gym facilities.
In 2017, the Yerevan Hub initiated its first-ever crowdfunding campaign called “Strong Kids, Bright Future.” The project was aimed at creating a gym for kids in the Special School for Children with Hearing Impairments. After 1.5 months, the crowdfunding campaign had raised 6'091 USD from 126 global supporters. The raised amount was matched by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) within the Community Initiative, adding-up to a total budget of 11'000 USD.
Through the guidance of the Yerevan Hub, a 102 square meter gym was reconstructed and renovated, special equipment was purchased, and a professional trainer was hired to train the school’s sports teacher to run a special training program, enabling the school to offer needed physical activity to its students.