Archive for December, 2009

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[FAR New York]: Happy New Year!

December 31, 2009

On behalf of our staff in Armenia and New York, FAR would like to wish all of our friends and supporters a happy and healthy New Year.

The celebration of the new year is often a time of new beginnings and new goals.  At FAR, we see 2010 as a year full of opportunities:  to increase our circle of supporters, to further improve on our programs, and ultimately to touch the lives of more Armenians than ever before.

Thank you for helping FAR to make 2009 a great success.

Shnorhavor Nor Daree!
Happy New Year!

Credit: Bob Jagendorf
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobjagendorf/

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[Beneficiary Potraits]: CASP Beneficiaries Rafayel and Irina Stepanyan

December 30, 2009

Rafayel and Irina Stepanyan live with their mother and grandmother in the city of Akhlkalak in Javakhk, Georgia. Their mother works at a shop in town, and earns barely enough to make ends meet. Often, they can’t afford to buy medicine for the children’s ailing grandmother.

Irina is in the ninth grade and Rafayel in the fifth grade. Irina is an exceptional student, and hopes to continue her formal education after high school. However, the family’s poverty is quite overwhelming. Rafayel is fond of sports, and enjoys playing football with his peers. With great pleasure, Rafayel and Irina help their mother with all of the housework.

The children were elated to receive the CASP stipend, and they express their deepest gratitude to the benefactors.  There are many children in need in Armenia and Javakhk.  FAR is trying to reach as many of them as possible, and out effectiveness will increase with your support.

CASP Beneficiaries at the Surb Khatch Church

Credit: FAR Staff

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[Beneficiary Potraits]: CASP Beneficiary Katya Galstyan

December 29, 2009

Katya Galstyan lives with her grandmother and uncle’s family in Javakhk’s Khospio village.  She is 13 years old, and attends high school.  In 2001, Katya’s family left for Russia, in order to find work there. Unfortunately, her father died in 2003, forcing her mother to return back to Javakhk with her two infant daughters.  A year later, Katya’s mother left again for Russia, seeking medical care for Katya’s sister, who suffers from a severe disease affecting her limbs.

Katya has not seen her mother in five years.  Her mother is unable to return to Javakhk due to the Russia-Georgia conflict, and therefore works in Russia hardly making a living.  Sometimes, she sends money for Katya.  Katya’s uncle and his wife are unemployed, and her grandmother receives a monthly pension of $45.  The family makes a living by growing potatoes.

Katya is a good student, and loves to dance.  The family cannot afford to send her to Akhalkalak to take dance classes so she stages dances at home and performs for her family.   Katya has not yet decided what she wants to become when grows up. Her only dream is to grow up, work, make money and bring her mom back home. CASP and FAR work to make life for adolescents like Katya a little easier.

A CASP Distribution in Javakhk

Credit: FAR Staff

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[CROC]: Children’s Center Annual Holiday Fundraiser

December 28, 2009

The Children’s Center Council of Friends held their second annual holiday charity dinner earlier this month.  The dinner took place at the chic Ojakh restaurant in Yerevan.  The council of Friends is a group of government officials, civil servants, and members of Armenia’s businesscommunity who support FAR’s Children’s Center.

Singer Mro, Bella Kotcharyan, and Mira Antonian

Credit: FAR Staff

Mrs. Bella Kotcharyan, Armenia’s former first lady, opened the program by thanking all supporters of FAR’s Children’s Center.  The beneficiary children provided entertainment for the guests, and charitable contributions totaled to almost 5.5 million AMD.  In early 2010, The Children’s Center and the Council of Friends will propose a plan for the allocation of the funds.

Beneficiaries from FAR’s Children’s Center

Credit: FAR Staff



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[FAR New York]: Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2009

On behalf of our beneficiaries and staff, today FAR would like to thank all of our friends who have helped us throughout the year. Your financial support and trust have helped us change the lives of countless Armenians who rely on FAR for assistance. Thanks to your sponsorship students were educated, homeless children were given shelter, and the elderly were provided hot meals.

Thank you.
Shnorhavor Soorp Dzenoont.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Children Enjoying the Winter in Yerevan

Credit: FAR Staff

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[FAR New York]: Starry Night

December 22, 2009

This is a group of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, as imaged by the Hubble Telescope.  This beautiful picture was sent to FAR by Dr. Yervant Tarzian, one of the beloved members of the FAR family.  Dr. Tarzian is the Chairman of FAR’s Armenian National Science & Education Fund (ANSEF), and he is also the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences at Cornell University.

Starry Night

Credit: Hubble Telescope

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[Jerair Nishanian Scholarship Program]: Jerair Nishanian Provides Christmas Gifts to Scholarship Recipients

December 21, 2009

For the last few years, the Jerair Nishanian Foundation has provided a few lucky students with the gift of an education.  Each year, through FAR, the foundation sponsors approximately fifty students who are working towards their degrees at Gavar State University.  Recently, FAR’s Edward Karapetyan and Levon Lachikyan visited Gavar to meet with some of the program’s beneficiaries.

Main Building of the Gavar State University

Credit: FAR Staff

The scholarship recipients, all of whom maintain stellar academic records, gave the FAR staff thank-you notes addressed to the benefactor, in an effort to show their gratitude to Mr. Nishanian.  As a Christmas gift, Mr. Nishanian mandated that his foundation provide each current scholarship recipient 10,000 Armenian Dram as Christmas present. FAR is very proud to have Mr. Nishanian as a benefactor, and we thank him for his continued support.

Jerair Nishanian Scholarship Beneficiaries

Credit: FAR Staff

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[FAR New York]: Armenian Wedding – Karabakh style!

December 18, 2009

Talene Tavit Baroyan

Most couples dream of their wedding day as a special one when their union will be witnessed by their closest friends and family, who are all focused on the two individuals who are becoming one unit.  What about sharing that special moment with 699 other couples??   In Karabakh, efficiency is the name of the game.  Watch the following clip to see 700 couples getting married during one ceremony, which took place in St. Ghazanchetsots church and Gandzasar monastery in Shushi.

To me, by far the best part of this clip is the fact that all of the brides are dressed in sweeping gowns, and grooms are also dressed in their Sunday best.  Despite having to share their “special day” with so many others, these couples are all treating the event as the important day that it is!

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[Armenian Landscapes]

December 17, 2009

It May be a Cold Day in the Northeastern United States,
but Armenia has Already Seen its First Snow!

Credit: Levon Lachikyan

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[Beneficiary portrait]: Anna Snkhchyan

December 16, 2009

Since childhood, Anna Snkhchyan has exhibited extraordinary academic abilities.  Before attending school, she had mastered the alphabet.  As Anna grew up, her mother noticed her love of mathematics, and suggested that that she apply to the Department of Economics at Yerevan State University.

Despite receiving high grades on the entrance exams, in 2006 Anna was admitted to the paid educational system of the university.  FAR’s Mathevosian Scholarship Program played a decisive role in her fate.  Her stipend from this scholarship allowed her to attend university and really focus on her studies.  Thanks to FAR’s support, Anna fully devoted herself to her education, and received only “excellent” grades for three years.

Anna Snkhchyan Hard at Work!

Credit: FAR Staff

As a result of her academic success, Anna was transferred to the free educational system and has also been receiving FAR’s financial assistance for three years.  The young girl spends the awarded money to cover daily expenses. Her mother, who raised Anna alone, is 63 years old and lives on government support.

Anna think of herself as lucky, since she has previously applied to other FAR scholarship programs and has been selected as a recipient twice before.  At FAR, we are very proud to be a link in the chain of a successful student.  Like those of us at FAR, Anna believes in her future, as well as the future of Armenia.  After her graduation, Anna intends to continue her education to obtain master degree.

Anna Snkhchyan

Credit: FAR Staff