Cilicia Living

A social development NGO started on the foundation of active citizenship, social entrepreneurship, and cultural exchange.

Our Mission

To utilize and united the power of international youth to create social development projects in local Armenian villages that strengthens their education, society, and economic status. 

Our Story


Cilicia Living is a social development NGO that works to promote art, culture, learning, active citizenship, social entrepreneurship and cultural exchange in Armenian villages.

It was started by Jeppe Strands, Severin Schirmer, a Dane and a Norwegian living in Armenia wanting to create social development projects and Hrachya Aghajanyan, the previous Armenian ambassador to Denmark.

The problem

A lot of young Armenians from the villages are moving to Yerevan, the capital, to get an education or to get a job. A lot of Armenian language and culture is preserved in the villages, but as the villages are slowly being emptied for people and resources, this culture is lost.

What we do

By using the united powers of international and Armenian youth we want to create an incentive to stay in the villages or come back after ended education. We do this by creating educational projects and opportunities for youth and we’re powered by the projects we create and sustain.

Cilicia Living puts a lot of effort into facilitating an equal collaboration between the young armenians and our international volunteers in the organisation rather than us working as “educators” or “mentors” for them. “Collaboration and co-creation above formal education” is our ground pillar in our projects because we want to create long-term and sustainable initiatives that can plant themselves in the villages and be appreciated parts of the local environment.

Our team

The people working to make Cilicia Living happen

Jeppe Strands

Co-Founder & Director

Jeppe has helped create and supervise the Cilicia Volunteer House and the projects Cilicia Living does. His favourite part of Cilicia Living is to get to live with crazy and inspiring people, collectively work for a shared purpose, and teach piano to our students. 

Hrachya Aghajanyan


Hrachya was the Armenian Ambassador to Denmark and Norway and has helped Jeppe and Cilicia Living in millions of ways. He is our lifeline and has supported and helped our work since 2018. He’s probably the nicest guy alive and loves to make awesome parties.