Home for Future

The "Home for Future" is a reality!

Through our partnership, this project was able to grow over the course of many years, until it was finally completed in 2008 to 2010!

As the Spitak YMCA's new youth centre, the Home for Future is able to provide Spitak's next generations with space and new possibilities. This new centre allows the Spitak YMCA to operate while covering its costs, and to subsidize some of its acitivities with revenue it generates. This way, they can mutliply the great impact they have on people in Spitak!



Spitak's new Home for Future -- a success story!

It seemed like my conversation partner's face  was growing more flushed by the minute. I'd known this man who sat across from me, holding his impassioned speech, for just about three weeks. We met in September of 2001 at Yerevan Airport, where he'd greeted me with a sign marked "YMCA".  And now we were sitting in an open air café in Spitak's city park, drinking one of many Armenian coffees that I would enjoy on my first ever visit to the country.

It was difficult to follow my companion's account. My thoughts kept getting distracted by the babbling  of a river which flowed directly next to us. And still, looking at his face, I could feel the intensity of his enthusiasm. I realised that we were on the brink of making something new happen. Something great. And today, I remember this as the day we started making history. A highlight of this history was the completion of the Spitak YMCA's new children's and youth centre on 15 December 2009. Hopefully, there will be many more such highlights in the future of our partnership!


When Hayk Khachatryan (general manager of the Spitak YMCA until March of 2015) and I had this conversation that day in Spitak, we were both inspired to try and realise this wildest dream of our partner organisation -- a dream which we'd only barely drafted up as a napkin sketch. 

From a more pragmatic point of view, however, it was clear to both of us that making this dream a reality was pretty much impossible. I even felt a prick of guilt about having stirred up so much enthusiasm by asking about the Spitak YMCA's greatest ambition. As a young Scout leader, I had nothing close to the means needed in order to bring this pipe dream closer to fruition.

I think this was also the moment when I realised that the redness Hayk's face was coming more from the flaming red grape vines growing above us, than a flush of emotion. He was also the one to remind me to stay focused on reality, rather than giving his earlier words too much thought.

We left our napkin sketch lying on the café table that day, but I took the idea back to Switzerland with me. And I was overwhelmed by the support that poured out for this seemingly abstract idea.

We are endlessly thankful for God's rich blessings that allowed this idea to grow. It was His work that allowed the Spitak YMCA to have a new home. A home that will last far into the future -- a story that's only just beginning.

Adrian Künsch-Wälchli, Co-general manager, YMCA/YWCA Zurich

Project description

A new youth centre in Spitak, Armenia

The small town of Spitak experienced great sufering in 1988, when it was at the epicentre of a major earthquake. The wounds of this catastrophe are still not healed today. Spitak's economical situation is so dire that many inhabitants lack a perspective and hope for the future. Especially children and adolescents are hit hard, and there are few playgrounds or youth activities for them.

The Spitak YMCA has been providing a great service to the community since 1994.  Today, it offers children and adolescents a new perspective by organizing open activities such as English and computer courses, a kindergarden, a Ten Sing choir, a puppet theatre, a volunteer club and a Scouts group. These activities are open to all adolescents, no matter their background. Most activities are hosted at a makeshift shack under adverse circumstances, but they still provide a great service to the kids and their entire community. The puppet theatre, for example, holds recitals in various nearby schools. The YMCA offers youth a daily structure, as well as space to learn and grow as a person.

Since the year 2000, we have cultivated an international partnership between the YMCA/YWCA Zurich and the Spitak YMCA. Through this partnership, we were able to realize a huge project over the course of the last several years: The Home for Future!


In order to further expand and develop its programs, the Spitak YMCA needed a building to replace the current shack, which was in very bad condition and required constant repairs. Almost daily maintenance work, coupled with the shack's dire state and lack of space, was interfering with the YMCA's programs. The new building allows the Spitak YMCA to conduct its programs in a cost-covering manner, despite the difficult societal circumstances. It has also made it possible to expand its operations and help even more people, opening its programs to the entire Spitak region and magnifiying its investment into society.

Public authorities, the population and the Spitak YMCA see the new building as a symbol and meeting place for Spitak's newest generation, as an open community centre at the heart of the town.

Withthe YMCA/YWCA Zurich's support, we have pushed ahead with this project since 2003. At the end of 2007, the YMCA Zurich took over liability for the project. With the help of a grant  and many generous donors, the project was finally realized in 2008 - 2010.

After a long time of preparation, detailed plans were finalized by a local architectural firm, and construction began on May 28, 2008. With close supervision from Switzerland, especially through our construction overseer P.Eng. Dino Tellenbach, the Home for Future was completed within two years.

On 1 May 2010, the Spitak YMCA's new centre celebrated its grand opening!



In June of 2006, the Spitak YMCA finalized the purchase of a plot of land 1800 sq m in size.

The choice of this site was the end result of a detailed evaluation conducted in partnership with the YMCA Zurich. The property is located on the premises of the former police station, right next to Spitak's city park. Since the community's new multi-sports complex is also situated nearby, the Spitak YMCA's centre came to be at the heart of an ideal leisure district. Spitak's city centre is reachable by foot or car in just a few minutes, and there is an access road leading right to the front of the building. 

The building project in Spitak was realized by the YMCA/YWCA Zurich and supervised by the Horyzon Foundation, the YMCA/YWCA Switzerland's foreign aid program. The YMCA and YWCA is certified by ZEWO, making your donations tax-deductible.

First photovoltaics facility in Spitak

Thanks to generous donations from the Foundation "Solarspar Schweiz", we were able to install a large-scale photovoltaics facility on the Home for Future's roof in 2013. This facility allows the Spitak YMCA to cover its electricity needs all year long, and even to save fossil fuels thanks to a 50% surplus production.

In the middle of October 2013, a long-time dream became reality. We were able to install a photovoltaics facility which is powerful enough to cover the Spitak YMCA's electricity usage all year long. 

Together with a team of volunteers from Spitak YMCA, we installed 67 solar panels over the course of three and a half days. The "Juwawatt" brand, german-built panels provide 17 000 kWh of surplus energy per year. The installation was overseen by Marcel Oklé of Intellisolar GmbH (Switzerland), who also helped us in the planning phases of this project. P. Eng. Dino Tellenbach, who was previously involved in construction of the Home for Future, also provided valuable assistance.

Because the panels are fitted with a "SolarEdge" brand optimization system, it is to be expected that electricity generation will be even higher in coming years. This surplus is sold back to Armenia's national grid, and the Spitak YMCA is compensated on a  1:1 basis as per Armenian law.

This new facility allows the Spitak YMCA to operate independently, and is seen as a pioneer project for alternative energy in the region. This way, the Spitak YMCA also raises awareness among the local children and adolescents, and teaches them how important it is to use resources wisely.

Adrian Künsch-Wälchli, Co-general manager, YMCA/YWCA Zurich

Road to Future

The new access road to the "Home for Future"

Everyone who's been to Spitak knows what we mean when we say that the YMCA needs a new access road...

In a joint project with the City of Spitak and Armenia's federal governement, the access road is now in the process of being resurfaced and fortified, and a new sidewalk is being constructed. This road is vital for access to the YMCA, as well as the nearby city gymnasium and School No. 4. As a project partner, we are contributing CHF 30 000 against the total cost in order to make this project a reality!

We've decided to make every effort to raise this amount, and are deeply grateful for every donation to support this critical infrastructure project. We are looking for 28 further supporteers, who are willing to contribute CHF 1 000, and will leave their very personal mark on the Road to Future. Two people have already signed on to make the Road a reality. We need your help so that the Raod to Future can provide access not jsut to facilities, but also to friendship, community and solidarity!

For further information, please contact us at  armenien@cevizuerich.ch

Start of construction - August 13, 2022

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