Strong Kids, Bright Future

Executive Summary:

It is becoming more and more apparent that in the age of technology most children show insufficient physical activity to achieve health benefits. 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. In Armenia, children with hearing impairments and motor disabilities are more exposed to health issues as usually they do not have opportunities for getting proper physical activities and do not have proper facilities to exercise. The Special School for Children with Hearing Impairments is in the picturesque corner of Yerevan called Nork and is the only institution in Armenia that provides a 12-year secondary education to children who are completely deaf or have hearing disorder. The school can host up to 350 students, where they get a full education, including studying sign language while learning a wide range of arts and crafts. Most kids in the school have a great talent for sports, particularly wrestling. They have won several local and regional competitions. This is quite an amazing achievement given the fact that they don’t have a gym area where they can be trained for competitions. The school highlights the importance of providing children with physical activity opportunities daily. However, due to weather restrictions or lack of proper facilities physical activities and playtime is often either skipped or shortened. In 2017 Global Shapers Yerevan Hub initiated its first ever crowdfunding campaign called “Strong Kids, Bright Future”. The project was aimed at creating a much-needed gym for kids in the Special School for Children with Hearing Impairments. After 1.5 months from launching the crowdfunding campaign on Generosity platform 6,091 USD was raised by 126 supporters throughout the world. The raised amount was matched by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) within the Community Initiative. As a result, the total budget for the project was 11,000 USD. Global Shapers Yerevan Hub members designed and implemented recruitment of highly professional company with competitive process. Based on the negotiations a contract was signed for renovation and supervision of the total area. As a result, 102 sq.m. was fundamentally renovated and reconstructed, two separate dressing rooms were added for boys and girls, the window and the floor were completely replaced by new modern ones. Special training equipment were purchased for the GYM. Additionally, we recruited a professional trainer for 1 month to train the school’s sports teacher and design a special training program for the children.



- Help the children with hearing impairments and motor disabilities to develop active, healthy lifestyle by creating a vibrant and modern concept-based GYM area in a safe and friendly environment.

- Contribute to children’s development process through a comprehensive physical activity program by training the teachers with professionally designed training curriculum.

- Provide knowledge on the importance of exercise for their well-being, and
increase the chance that physical activity will become a permanent part of their daily lives.



- 11,000 USD was raised through successful crowdfunding campaign (126 backers) including a matching from EBRD

- 130 students got access to brand new fully equipped GYM with all the necessary training facilities

- Professional groups were trained for local and foreign championships including the 2019 World Para Athletics Championship.

- The trainers and school staff mentioned that kids have recorded positive improvement in health and physical wellbeing.


Organizations and Stakeholders:

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Special School for Children with Hearing Impairments