Archive for November, 2009


[CASP]: Javakhk Distributions Made

November 30, 2009

The most recent distribution for CASP beneficiaries in the Javakhk region was held last month.  An interesting feature of the Javakhk region distribution is that it happens during the harvesting season, when many of the beneficiaries are quite busy cultivating potatoes.  Therefore, the children and their families are available to receive their CASP stipends only after the workday is complete.

Father Tatev with CASP Beneficiaries
of the Soorp Khatch Church

Credit: FAR Staff

Vicar Father Babken Salbian from the Javakhk church, Father Armash, Father Tatev and CASP’s Javakhk Program contact Lusine Muradyan were responsible for the 99 cash stipends distributed to the CASP beneficiaries.  FAR thanks these individuals, as well as our generous donors, for their ongoing support.

Father Babgen and Father Armash with CASP Beneficiaries

Credit: FAR Staff


[FAR New York]: Happy Thanksgiving

November 24, 2009

By Garnik Nanagoulian, Executive Director

Dear Caring Friend,

On this Thanksgiving we at the Fund for Armenian Relief would like to give thanks to you, the loyal FAR family, that year after year have given generously of your money, time, and passion to support our mission. We are truly blessed to be your trusted charity and your partner of choice.

As you sit around your table this Thanksgiving and thank God for what you have, you can be assured that countless families in Armenia will be thanking God for your continued loving support. I hope you will enjoy seeing a some of the happy faces of ordinary Armenians whose lives were changed thanks to your kindness, generosity and vision.

From all of us at FAR, have a blessed Thanksgiving.



[ANSEF]: ANSEF Grant Winners Meet with FAR Yerevan Staff

November 24, 2009

The 2009 Armenian National Science & Education Fund (ANSEF) grants have been awarded, and project follow-up has begun.  Earlier this month, members of the FAR Yerevan staff paid visits to many of Armenia’s finest scientific institutions including Yerevan State University, the Scientific Center of Biology and Hydro-ecology, the Scientific Technological Center of Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry and the Institute of Applied Problems of Physics, in order to check in with the scientist teams who received FAR’s ANSEF grants.

Mr. Ishkhanyan, ANSEF Grantee Scientist

Credit: FAR Staff

The FAR representatives met with 14 different scientific research groups, during which time the progress of each team project was discussed.  Through ANSEF, FAR provides scientists with funding, enabling them to pursue their scientific research in Armenia as opposed to leaving the nation in search of funding.  The goal of this project is to motivate Armenia’s greatest scientific talents to stay in Armenia, preventing the problem known unofficially as the “brain drain.”

Presentation at the Physics Research Laboratory

Credit: FAR Staff


[CME]: Beneficiary Eduard Bayramyan

November 23, 2009

Before graduating from secondary school in Dilijan, Eduard Bayramyan had already decided to become a physician. His father and eldest brother were pharmacists and his uncle was a doctor.  In 1998, Eduard applied to the Yerevan State Medical University.  By 2007, he had completed his residency in General Surgery.

However, Eduard was not satisfied with only one specialization, so he decided to study oncology as well.  Therefore, he had to continue to finance his education and somehow pay the hefty tuition.  During a trip to the Dean’s Office, Eduard learned about FAR’s CME Program scholarship, and immediately applied.  He was accepted to the program, and signed a contract stating that he would return to his native town as a practicing physician after graduation.

The decision to return to his hometown became firm when in August 2009, he participated in an internship in the local hospital and got acquainted with his future colleagues as well as the medical conditions of people living in the surrounding areas.  As a result, Eduard discovered that there was much work to be done, especially since the hospital was lacking an oncology specialist.  Eduard enjoyed working in the Dilijan hospital and especially enjoyed working with the hospital’s head doctor and FAR CME Program member Sahak Mkrtumyan.  During his one-month stay, Eduard managed to participate in several surgical procedures.

Eduard has always had great respect for the regional physicians, and greatly appreciates their professional flexibility.  “In the regions, often times you work alone. Very often you have to make your own decisions related to a patient’s health,” explained Eduard.  In Spring 2010, Eduard Bayramyan will complete his residency at Yerevan State Medical University and return to Dilijan to practice medicine.  Eduard looks forward to his return as much as the personnel of the hospital in his native town.

Eduard Bayramyan with FAR CME Coordinator
Hambartsum Simonyan

Credit: FAR Staff


[CME]: Providing New Opportunities for Medical Students in Armenia

November 20, 2009

In May 2005, FAR’s CME Program was launched to promote the improvement of medical service quality in the Armenian regions outside of Yerevan. The program continues to organize one-month training sessions at the leading hospitals in Yerevan, in order to benefit of physicians from rural Armenia, Javakhk and Karabagh.

The next important step taken by the Program was to provide financial support to select Yerevan State Medical University’s (YSMU) resident students from the regions. Financial support is provided on a selective basis to those students whose are part of Armenia’s “paid” educational system, meaning their education is not free.  The key condition for participation in the program is that the graduate is obliged to return to his or her native region and work at the local medical institutions. Under this condition, six resident students of YSMU are currently being supported by FAR.

The newest feature of this program is the internship.  Last year, FAR and YSMU decided that going forward, they would send the resident students to their regional hospitals for a one-month internship within the framework of their educational curriculum. This provides the residents with an opportunity to become reacquainted with his or her hometown, and also to get to know the facilities in which they will be working.

In order to make this program successful, the entire network of FAR health professionals has become involved in the project. The representatives of the network serve as local mentors for the students and become the main link between the intern and the medical institutions.  One of the resident students who completed his internship in this summer is Eduard Bayramyan.  Stay tuned Monday to read his story…..


[FAR New York Office]: FAR’s Bagrat Sargsyan Travels to the United States

November 19, 2009

FAR’s very own Bagrat Sargsyan and USAID Program Manager Karen Sargsyan recently returned from their trip to the United States, and they shared their stories with the FAR staff during a meeting held at the Yerevan office on November 10th.    During their trip, Bagrat and Karen participated in a weeklong training program in Washington D.C., and attended many meetings in both Washington and New York.

Bagrat enjoyed meetings with FAR benefactors including Jirair Nishanian, Anoush Mathevosian, John Ounjian, Annette Choolfaian, and Shahan Artsruni among others.   The meetings were quite productive, and it was critical for Bagrat to liaise with some of FAR’s most generous benefactors.  The FAR staff was happy to hear the positive reports!

FAR’s Bagrat Sargsyan and Arto Vorperian
with Anush Mathevosian

Credit:  FAR Staff


[GTech]: GTech Says Goodbye to Jason Paul Kazaryan

November 18, 2009

By Amalya Yeghoyan

In December of 2006, a resonating call in his heart drew Jason Paul Kazaryan to visit Armenia.  A few years later, Jason decided to move to Gyumri, and become the Executive Director of GTech.  Jason adapted easily to his new life in Gyumri, and for nearly one year, he supervised the GTech family.

The GTech students and staff greatly appreciate Jason’s commitment to the development of the Gyumri Information Technology Center (GTech), and to the community at large. During his year as Executive Director, Jason used his skills to bring western work practices and business methodologies to GTech.  He worked with students and helped them to become competitive not only professionally but also intellectually.  Jason taught his staff members and employees to work with devotion and to feel responsible for the future of Armenia and of Gyumri in particular.

On November 1st, supporters of GTech and FAR gathered together for a farewell party in honor of Jason Paul Kazaryan.  It was truly an emotional event for all. Jason expressed his feelings with the following words “I know that one day I will come back [to Gyumri] for sure. I am not going back home but I go back from my home.” These words were so convincing that we have no doubt Jason will return!

Jason Accepts a Gift from FAR

Credit:  FAR Staff


[Meet our Staff]: Levon Lachikyan at Club Urbat

November 17, 2009

Last week, FAR’s Press Secretary Levon Lachikyan was invited to Yerevan’s Club Urbat to participate in a press conference.  Levon was an art critic during the “Friday” Club event.   The conference was quite successful.  Levon spoke about challenges in Armenian cultural life, and about potential solutions to those challenges.  Many journalists and members of mass media participated in the event.

Levon Lachikyan as an Art Critic at Club Urbat

Credit:  FAR Staff


[Educational Grant Program]: Beneficiary Ani Kalashyan

November 16, 2009

Ani is a second-year student in the Statistics and Informatics Department at the Armenian State University of Economics.  She is originally from Hrazdan, Armenia.  Ani is an only child, and was two years old when her parents divorced and her father left the family.  Raised in part by her grandparents, Ani says, “It seems as if my grandmother and grandfather were my parents. I am thankful for all the good they gave me. I always wished to be a person they would be proud of.”

During the early part of her education, Ani dedicated herself to studying the English language. She initially learned the language from Peace Corps volunteers.  Ani has a vibrant personality, and she has been involved in public works since the age of 14. For several years, she worked as an administrative assistant at an NGO in her native town. At the same time, she worked as an English tutor and taught English to children.

Ani at the FAR Office

Ani Kalashyan 1

Credit: FAR Staff

We would say that Ani has made her grandparents proud! “I felt stressed for the first time, when I learnt about my involvement in the paid educational system of the university” remembered Ani.

However thus far during her studies, Ani has received “excellent” grades on all exams.  Due to her academic excellence, she has been transferred from the paid educational system to the free educational system within the university.

Peace Corps volunteers told Ani to apply to the Fund for Armenian Relief for additional assistance.  “It was the last day for the applications to be submitted to FAR. I applied, and a few days later received FAR’s invitation to participate” told Ani Kalashyan.  Ani is thrilled to be part of the program, and she is committed to studying with excellence in order to justify the selection and expectations.  Ani will use the money she receives from FAR to buy a new computer.  We have no doubt that she will prove herself to be a worthy beneficiary of the scholarship!

Ani Shows us her Home

Ani Kalashyan 2

Credit:  FAR Staff


[FAR PRR]: Dr. Edgar Housepian To Be Honored on January 15th

November 12, 2009

The Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) will honor one of its founding members, Dr. Edgar M. Housepian, at a gala banquet in Manhattan on January 15, 2010. The event also will mark FAR’s 20th anniversary. His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, will preside.

Dr. Housepian, a renowned neurosurgeon and professor, will be recognized for his many contributions to medicine, and for his involvement in the relief and medical efforts in Armenia. Click here to read more about Dr. Housepian’s work.

Dr. Edgar Housepian


Credit: Julie Dermansky