For a Viable Future
Our mission is to create a viable future for the Armenian people where its culture and language are preserved and valued.
The Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation works in the domains of language, culture, education, research and civil society. We are in a unique position to influence these areas in ways that enhance the Armenian nation globally. Through our funding priorities, we aim to achieve transformative change, particularly in the Diaspora, based on our financial and political independence, broad network of partners, innovative programming, experience and track-record of philanthropic work over many decades. As a non-partisan Foundation, above the political fray of the Armenian world, our grant-making is driven solely by the desire to have a positive impact.
The overall goal of the Department is to strengthen and valorise the Armenian language and culture in the Diaspora, to enhance education, and to contribute to the consolidation of democratic values in Armenia.
We have grouped our activities into four strategic pillars that constitute our key areas of intervention:
- To promote and contribute to the vitality of the Armenian language and culture in the Diaspora, particularly Western Armenian.
- To provide support to Armenian and Armenian Studies university students and researchers and to promote, more generally, research on Armenian subjects, notably on contemporary issues.
- To support civil society and intellectual creativity in Armenia in order to consolidate democratic culture.
- To assist cultural and educational institutions in Istanbul and elsewhere that valorise the Armenian presence in Turkey, and to contribute to the improvement of Armenian-Turkish relations.
The Armenian Communities Department concentrates on issues to which it can bring a substantial value added in the Armenian world. Our focus is on the sustainability and well-being of the Diaspora, without ignoring some important needs in Armenia. Our “signature” is our Diaspora-centric approach, with a particular emphasis on Western Armenian language and culture.
The Department’s direct beneficiaries range from schoolchildren to established intellectuals, from civil society organisations to universities. We have a very clear focus on youth, particularly when it comes to language vitality programmes. The ultimate beneficiaries of our initiatives are Armenians throughout the world who care about the language and the culture of and in the Diaspora, who want to maintain their identity as Armenians, and who want to live in an open and democratic society in Armenia.
The programming priorities of the Department are rooted in its Five Year Plan, particularly the 2014-2018 Plan which was reaffirmed, with some adjustments, for the 2019-2023 period. The most important changes are in the means we implement our priorities to ensure further focus and greater impact.
The programming pillars of the Armenian Communities Department are inspired by and build on three of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s overall strategic priorities: sustainability, knowledge and social integration.
Read our first Five Year Plan (2014-2018), the foundation of our programming, available in English, Armenian, French and Portuguese:Programming Plan 2014-2018