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SheLeads: Meet Nelli Marutyan

SheLeads is a month-long blog series highlighting the voices of some of iACT's amazing female leaders from across the globe. You’ll hear from soccer coaches, education directors, and program coordinators as they discuss the impact of war and displacement on their lives and the power women hold as leaders in their communities.

Academy Coach, Armenia

I am Nelli Marutyan. I was displaced from Artsakh. I have a higher education and 20 years of professional experience. Thanks to these many years of experience, I understand children's psychology very well. After the horrible war that started on September 27, 2020 my family and I moved to and have been living since in the Republic of Armenia, in the region of Syunik, in Goris.

Starting from 2021, I founded football groups for Artsakh children of different ages here (girls and boys). We had some good results in the region and my girls team under 14 years of age took the honorable second place. Achieving such good results in such a short time, we decided to continue our fun, pleasant, and favorite work together and till today, thanks to the iACT Academy and my dear Gabriel and Katie-Jay, I am able to continue my work with my dear students.

Nelli sitting in the grass stretching with a water bottle in front of her.
Nelli stretching during iACT's coach training in 2021.

What is something in your week that brings you joy?

All our meetings during the week bring us joy.

Why did you choose to become a soccer coach with iACT & GOALS?

As a result of iACT and Gabriel and Katie-Jay's trainings, I received the title of the Academy Coach based on their criteria.

What has the conflict in Armenia meant for you as a woman?

It was yet another negative experience for someone who lost everything, but my job with my dear children keeps me going.

Who is a woman that inspired you in your life?

That woman is my mother who has taught me to be a good person in this life with good values.

What advice would you give young girls in your community?

I'll advise them to love their profession and do their job with love.


Help iACT continue to do what it does best:

Support refugees in the forgotten corners of the world through soccer and preschool.

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