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[FAR & BAFA Soup Kitchens]: Gohar Karapetyan And The Staff of Nor Hajn’s Soup Kitchen.

January 11, 2011

FAR’s Nor Hajn Soup Kitchen has operated for 16 years. Gohar Karapetyan, part of a team of five cooks, including Dariko Dallakyan, Alisa Hakobyan, Anahit Melikyan, Sveta Baghramyan, and their supervisor Babken Hakobyan, lead the kitchen’s operations.

Together, they all work in the soup kitchen as one peaceful family.

Nor Hajn Soup Kitchen’s Cooks
(from left to right)Alisa, Sveta, Dariko, Anahit

Alisa_Sveta_Gohar_Dariko_Anahit

Credit: Felix Arustamyan

Born in 1963, Gohar is the youngest employee of the soup kitchen. She has worked there since 1995. Her husband Harutyun died four years ago, leaving her alone with her two sons Hamlet, 28, and Sargis, 24, and her one and a half year old grandson Harutyun. Just as many other family members of soup kitchen employees, Gohar’s husband used to visit and eat there. During those years, everyone lived in very poor conditions, so the kitchen also served staff as a means of support.

“Since my husband’s death this place has given me much needed help and a source of peace,” Gohar said. ”This soup kitchen has become my second home.”

Gohar Karapetyan

Gohar_Karapetyan_NorHajn

Credit: Felix Arustamyan

All employees are comforted when they know that each of their beneficiaries have their meal every day, said Gohar. They also worry when the elderly patrons do not show. “We always take the meal to their homes when they are ill, when we know they are unable to visit the soup kitchen,” she said. “We are happy to do this kind work and we are always touched to receive the appreciation of people. Sometimes the old men kiss our hand as a token of their gratitude. We share with our beneficiaries their happiness and sorrow. We celebrate the birth of a grandchild, and we buy a present for the family.”

Gohar recalled a young beneficiary named Naira who had attended the soup kitchen since the age of 10. She had vision problems and FAR Soup Kitchens Program Coordinator Rafik Martirosyan helped her to cure her eyes thanks to the support of BAFA. When Naira married a man in Javakhk, the entire staff bought presents for the new couple. “We always treated her as our daughter,” said Gohar. “And now she often calls us and tells us how much she misses us.”

All soup kitchen staff are grateful to FAR and BAFA. Many have said that it’s because of the kitchen that they have been able to support their families for many years and receive help in dire circumstances. Although their salaries are not high, they remain devoted. Gohar’s story attests to this, “We are pleased to receive the blessings of our beneficiaries and provide a way for everyone to receive their daily bread.” 

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