Archive for June, 2009

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[View From an Armenian Window]

June 30, 2009

Lake Sevan from the “Tea House” Restaurant near Gavar

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Credit : Celine Kaladjian

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[FAR’s Projects] : New Picture Galleries Available

June 30, 2009

One of FAR’s partners has posted some new photo galleries about recent events at the Gyumri Information Technology Center and the 2009 FAR Young Professionals tour of Armenia. The gallery index page is at:

http://leftbrainedgeeks.com/gitc/gallery

Three galleries have just been posted: a visit from the Ministry of the Economy and Deputy Prime Minister to the GITC, a student field trip to VivaCell’s headquarters and switching facilities in Yerevan, and the FAR YP tour itself.

The FAR YP gallery, we’re proud to say, has some short notes about the tour’s itinerary. Be sure to enlarge your browser’s window or scroll down the page to read the note under each photo.

If you have not seen them already, follow the link on the gallery index page to the partner’s Extras page for some other galleries from 2006 and 2008.

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[View From an Armenian Window]

June 29, 2009

Goris, June 20th 2009

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Credit : Celine Kaladjian

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[Event] : Information about Child Protection Public Forum

June 29, 2009

As a leader in child protection issues, FAR hosted a Child Protection Public Forum at the Children’s Center on Thursday, June 25.  The purpose of the forum was to discuss efforts to mobilize human resources for early identification and early intervention for at-risk children and their families in Armenia.  75 childcare specialists working in various government posts and NGOs attended the forum dedicated to the establishment and promotion of  networking amongst child protection groups.  The forum presented a good opportunity for those present to exchange best practices with respect to child protection. The participants highlighted the importance of familiarity with the organizations and institutions that could be leveraged through partnerships aimed at achieving child protection goals in regions throughout Armenia.

Specialists listening to other participants presentations

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Credit : Levon Lachikyan

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[Armenian Landscapes]

June 26, 2009

Lake Sevan in June

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Credit: Celine Kaladjian

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[FAR-NY] : U.S. Ambassador to Armenia held town hall meeting in New York

June 26, 2009

Addressing about 250 people at the Diocesan Center on Monday, June 22, Her Excellency Marie Yovanovitch, the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia, spoke about U.S. goals in Armenia, discussed taxpayer-funded development programs, and asked the public to share its concerns on U.S.-Armenia relations.

Turning to the economy, Ambassador Yovanovitch stressed that despite growth in recent years, the Armenian economy today faces the challenges posed by the global financial crisis.

To help during the economic crisis, Ambassador Yovanovitch said, the U.S. is stepping up short-term humanitarian efforts, like a new program that allocates money to villages for infrastructure work and employs local residents to carry out the projects.

Ambassador Yovanovitch highlighted the Artashat Water Project, which will rehabilitate the water supply system for over 100,000 people in Artashat and surrounding areas. The project has been financed by USAID and is being implemented by FAR.

In addition, the U.S. government has partnered with companies like Coca-Cola and Sun Microsystems to sponsor programs that protect natural resources and promote information technology training at Armenian universities.

She called Armenia one of the largest recipients of U.S. aid worldwide, having received a total of $1.8 billion in total assistance to date.

The evening, co-hosted by the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) and the Fund for Armenian Relief, concluded with a period where Ambassador Yovanovitch addressed questions from the audience.

Diocesan Primate Abp. Khajag Barsamian (center) with U.S. Amb. Yovanovitch (right) and Garnik Nanagoulian, Executive Director of the Fund for Armenian Relief (left)

Diocesan Primate Abp. Khajag Barsamian (center) with U.S. Amb. Yovanovitch (right) and Garnik Nanagoulian, executive director of the Fund for Armenian Relief (left)

Credit: Artur Petrosyan

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[Beneficiary Portraits]

June 25, 2009

Two young beneficiaries from Gyumri

Gyumri Children Res.

Credit : Levon Lachikyan

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[CSFC] : Gratitude Event

June 25, 2009

Following the success of the June 2nd “Best for our Children” event held in Victory Park, FAR thanked contributing participants with a reception held at the Children’s Center office.  The reception opened with a brief performance by young beneficiaries sheltered at the Center.  Following the performance, Mira, the CROC Director, thanked all of the individuals and organizations who contributed to making the June 2nd event a success.  FAR CROC “Friends Council,” led by Mrs. Bella Kocharyan, wife of former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, specially thanked various participating organizations and the artists.

Former first lady Bella Kocharyan along with Bagrat Sargsyan, FAR Armenia Country Director and Mira Antonyan, FAR Homeless Children Center Director

Bagrat with Bella Kocharian 1 Res.

Credit : FAR Staff

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[Celine’s Dispatches: FAR’s Intern in Armenia] : Our Last Days in Yerevan

June 24, 2009

Our last two days in Yerevan reminded everyone that nearly two weeks have passed since we first landed in the Motherland. This sudden return to reality left everyone nostalgic, remembering the highlights of our trip during our last dinner together.

Our free time in Yerevan enabled us to explore the city. I went to the Vernissage (an open air market where one can literally find anything you need), strolled down the streets of Yerevan and ended up in the open air cafes at the Opera.

We also had the chance to meet Mrs. Hranush Hakobyan, the newly established Minister of Diaspora. Everyone was a little bit nervous, but we soon realized that Mrs. Hakobyan was very indeed not only very friendly but a great resource to learn about “our” Armenia. After a presentation by the Ministry of Diaspora, we were able to ask our questions which were patiently answered by Mrs. Hakopian.

Now, sadly the 14th annual YP Trip has come to an end.

I invite everyone to join next year’s trip. I know now that you will have a hard time understanding the feelings it leaves you with until you experience Armenia for yourself.

– Celine

Rafi, Kaloust – our tour guide- and Daniele acting goofy for our last dinner together

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Credit : Celine Kaladjian

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[YPT] : American Armenian Young Professionals Visit to Gyumri

June 24, 2009

In Gyumri, the FAR Young Professionals witnessed how FAR assist Armenians who are at many different stages of life. At GTech, Jason introduced the YPs to the school’s technical education program for young adults. (See June 15th post titled: A Diasporan in Armenia) Next, the young professionals visited the Soup Kitchen and had a chance to speak to some of the oldest FAR beneficiaries. Finally, the group visited the Oktet Music School, where they were welcomed by a beautiful concert program prepared specially for the visitors from the US, and performed by young students. The children’s performance was a big hit, and the young performers were happy to take photos with the YPs.

The YPs and the performers come together a memorable picture

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Credit : Kaloust Hovsepyan