Residents of Garni village, Kotayk province, had a good opportunity to deal with issues related to the registration of vital statistics, without even having to leave their community. Regional civil registry office employees came to the village and completed necessary registrations last Friday, August 1 in the Municipality office, IFES/Armenia Public Outreach said


The regional civil registry office, situated in Abovyan, the administrative center of Kotayk, serves 30 villages, including Garni, as well as two cities: Abovyan and Byureghavan. The population of Garni amounts to around 8,000 people, so the community is one of the larger villages but significantly smaller than the larger cities of the region. Till now, Garni residents have been obligated to travel to Abovyan to obtain vital documents, such as birth, death, and marriage certificates. Moreover, reaching Abovyan has not been easy because of problems with the public transport linking the two cities: very few buses run between Garni and Abovyan, as opposed to the well-traveled Garni-Yerevan line. As a result, residents have had to deal with a large accumulation of non-registered events and transactions.

For instance, by March 2003, there were over 400 children in Garni with no birth certificate. After residents acknowledged and thoroughly discussed the situation, an initiative group was created to resolve this chronic problem. IFES/Armenia encourages civil activity in the shape of DGs and IGs, aiming to use these mechanisms to contribute to community development. In this particular case, IG members agreed on the favorable solution: to reach an agreement with the civil registry office that would ensure periodic staff visits to Garni. "We composed the announcement and placed it everywhere within community. In addition, we conferred with local residents who require services from the state registry and persuaded them not to delay their applications, because they certainly will face a number of difficulties

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