Interview․ Lusine Hovhannisyan

Interview_Lusine Hovhannisyan
©Syuzi Melkoyan

Interview with Lusine Hovhannisyan, analyst at “Enlight” Public Research Center NGO,  Board secretary.

You are at “Enlight” for more than 4 years. Will you go in details: how did you join the team, what path did you go through, how did you become a Board member?

In 2016, when I just finished school and entered the university I received a letter from one of my friends, who sent the new program of “Armenian Center of Young Analysts”- a school of analysts. I became  very interested. I applied,  passed the stage of interview and  took part in courses from August 22 to 28, 2016, after which we  were suggested to stay and continue cooperation with ACoYA which was then renamed “Enlight”. The path of me and Enlightis actually rather long, starting from renaming, various fundamental changes to a number of projects, materials, ups and downs.. Let me say that I was a Board member still in the “Armenian Center of Young Analysts” NGO. This year too I nominated my candidacy and was elected, but as a secretary of Board.  

What is the unique characteristic of “Enlight”? How does it differ from other NGOs? 

In my opinion to say that “Enlight” gives a number of opportunities, supports its members, volunteers, strives to combine people of the same ideas and reach the set goals together, guiding with principles of organization, describes the organization under a positive light, but is not a characteristic  feature. “Enlight” encourages creativity and courage, and throws challenges that are unreachable at first sight. There is a good saying in English: dare greatly. This is what “Enlight” encourages.

You are a lawyer by profession and you are also  working as an analyst at ‘Enlight”. What do you think are the professional topics that need to be addressed publicly? If so, how do you organise or manage them?

Before the pandemic there was an idea to arrange a number of interviews and debates regarding constitutional changes, presented packages or packages to be presented. Now, a project is being prepared  the purpose of which is to inform the public about branches of law and some of their main institutions.

Let us talk about your activities on Board: what is the role of the Board in the process of planning the strategy of the organization and in the life of organization in general?

 The Board is one of the key bodies of the non-governmental organization. This is the governing body that should develop the vision of a non-governmental organization, develop and separate the most important directions of further activities.  That is why being a member of the Board is a big responsibility not only while doing work regarding the organization, but also in general, even in everyday life and in non working conditions. And it is under the very influence of that responsibility that members of the board continue to be  the core of strategic planning of the organization, of course, together with the president and vice-president.

What kind of obstacles have you faced or are you facing during your work and how do you overcome it?

The avoidance from obstacles within professional activity are inevitable, even undesirable because each of them is a unique challenge, which checks, for example, how the person or specialist copes with stressful situations, how he does responsible work. I should say that being a member of  “Enlight” since the first course greatly reduced a number of problems as I was already aware of the process of preparation, development, handover of the same academic documents. The same can be said about  debates and discussions. In other words, if your article was able to “overcome”  the session at “Enlight” analytical forum,  you can not scare  it with anything.

There are two main ways of involvement at “Enlight”-as a member and as a volunteer. Which are the differences of the two statuses and which status do you advocate?

Let me point out the differences not in terms of formal definitions but in terms of content. A member is a person who is more closely connected to the organization, shares the principles and goals of the organization, makes efforts to achieve them, contributes to the development of the organization, and then receives benefits. 

Volunteers are people who cooperate with the organization for a short period of time at any stage of the organization’s activity. It would be appropriate to bring the example of citizenship. The member of the organization is the “citizen” of the organization. In other words, the connection between the member and the organization is closer, continuous and structural. I am an advocate of the membership option, because stability, duration and strength of the relations are of utmost importance to me. And the strength, duration, and continuity of this relationship can best be expressed through membership.

What inspires you most at “Enlight”?

I was delighted, inspired and excited by the young professional specialists of “Enlight” in 2016. I had  the idea, eagerness and aim to be like them at their age or do everything to resemble them.

Then, when I became a member of  the organization, I was long captured by the inner structure of the organization, the relations within  different governing bodies, the systematization of all these due to which the organization resembled a living organism. 

The prepared and created materials, new projects, passion of members and volunteers were the center of my attention in the next stage.

I was lucky enough to work with two presidents of “Enlight”: Areg Kochinyan and now Anna Khachyan. I have always admired their dedication, their belief in  the importance of their work. Their spirit is contagious.

Of course, in addition to everything, the members of “Enlight” have always been a source of inspiration.

Interview was held by Anna Manukyan.

Translator: Aram Sanamyan © All right reserved.