Archive for the ‘Beneficiary Portraits’ Category

h1

[Beneficiary Potraits]: Avagyan M.

June 30, 2010

Seventeen-year-old Avagyan M. lives with his mother and sisters in a small house in Ninotsminda, Javakhk, where they barely make ends meet. Avagyan and his family moved to Javakhk from Russia nine years ago after his father was killed in a car accident. While his mother initially found work at a local sewing factory, she eventually had to stop due to health problems.

Today, the family tries to grow their own potatoes to survive the winter and Avagyan and his sisters constantly look for odd jobs whenever they can. Despite the hardships, Avagyan tries his best to excel in school and at sports like soccer and biking. Now in tenth grade, he has received many academic awards for his grades. Avagyan was one of the recent recipients of a Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP) stipend during the recent CASP distribution in Javakhk.

This vital support will help Avagyan and his family purchase the necessities they need, and will ultimately enable Avagyan to continue to stay in school, graduate, and become a professional.

Avagyan with his mother

Avagyan  Mkrtich with mother 1.jpg

Credit: FAR Staff

h1

[Beneficiary Potraits]: Yeghisabet and Karen D.

June 28, 2010

Yeghisabet and Karen D. live in the suburb of Akhalkalak, their house perched on the edge of a gorge. They live with their mother, who struggles to provide for her family. Yeghisabet, known as “Ani” at home, is 13 years old and in the 7th grade. Karen, 12, is in the 6th grade. Karen’s hobby is sculpting with plaster and for two years he attended the local school of fine art, where his work was shown in many local exhibitions. Ani loves working with handicrafts, particularly embroidery, at the local youth center. Many of her works have also been shown in the center’s exhibitions. She also loves playing the piano. Both children are excellent students who are currently preparing for their annual exams.

They were some of the latest recipients of the Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP) stipend during the recent CASP distribution in Javakhk, Georgia. This support will help Ani, Karen, and their mother to purchase the necessities they need. CASP will ultimately enable Ani and Karen to continue to stay in school and cultivate their creativity.

Yeghisabet & Karen D.

Yeghisabet  &  Karen  Dumanyans with their mother 5.jpg

Yeghisabet playing the piano

Yeghisabet playing piano

Credit: FAR Staff

h1

[Beneficiary Potraits]: Syuzanna C.

June 17, 2010

Sixteen-year-old Syuzanna C. was another recent recipient of a Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP) stipend during the recent June CASP distribution in Javakhk.

Now in the 10th grade, Syuzanna is very interested in design. She loves to embroider and some of her tablecloths and napkins have been entered in competitions in Tbilisi and Akhaltskha, where she has received several awards and certificates. Her wish is to continue her education in Yerevan.

Syuzanna lives with her mother and two sisters and their husbands. Her father and uncle died in a car accident when Syuzanna was two years old. The family has struggled ever since. Syuzanna’s mother works as a packing specialist at the local sewing factory, but her salary is too low to cover the cost of food, clothes, and other expenses. The family has tried to grow their own food in the small lot in front of their house, but have been unable to cultivate it. The CASP stipend will provide some much needed assistance to this family, and one day contribute to funding Syuzanna’s education in Yerevan.

Syuzanna in the yard behind the house she lives in

Chopuryan  Syuzanna-in the yard.jpg

Credit: FAR Staff

h1

[Beneficiary Profile]: Hasmik Gevorgyan.

June 11, 2010

Hasmik Gevorgyan lives with her family in the small town of Meghri, near the Iranian border. Plagued with a poor economy and rampant unemployment, most families in the area have great difficulty making ends meet. Hasmik and her family have struggled for years ever since her father Gevorg was killed in a car accident in 2007. The sole breadwinner of the family, Gevorg left behind seven children, two of who are handicapped.

The family lives on the ground floor of a building next to St. Astvadzadzin Church of Meghri and relies entirely on the state’s allowance for the handicapped sons and Hasmik’s Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP) stipend. Hasmik learned about CASP Program in Sunday school. She applied for it in 2008 and the support has been tremendous, as it helps feed the entire family.

Hasmik (second from the right) and her family

Svetlana, Arevik,Hasmik, Lusine and Lusine's child 1.jpg

Hasmik and her little sister in the yard

Hasmik with her flowers 1.jpg

Credit: FAR Staff

h1

[Beneficiaries Portraits]: Lilia N.

June 1, 2010

Lilia N. was born in 1994, after her parents Vitalik and Anjela fled Azerbaijan during the Nargorno-Karabagh War. They settled in the town of Sisian, Armenia, where they spent seven years living in a cramped dormitory. Lilia and her older brother Vazgen were born during that time. Soon after, Vitalik contracted a spinal illness as a result of his war injuries, became bedridden, and died in 1999. Anjela, who is a high school Russian teacher, had to single handedly support her family.

“It was not easy to raise two children on a teacher’s salary” Anjela said. “I did the best I could for my children. I was both a mother and a father for them.”

In 2001, her family were finally able to move into a one-room apartment in a special building for refugees. The apartment, however, lacked some basic amenities, but the family has done their best to make it as livable as possible. Now, Vazgen is in the Armenian Army and Lilia is in the tenth grade of secondary school. An excellent student, Lilia also loves working with flowers and incorporates this art into her classes. For the past two years, Lilia and her family have received support through the Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP), financed by the Women’s Guild of Armenian Church in America (Eastern Diocese). Lilia’s stipend makes a huge difference for their family and relieves some of the Anjela’s financial strain.

“I am very happy to receive such support,” Lilia said. “In letters to my benefactors I expressed my wish for all Armenians in the Diaspora to visit and explore their homeland, and also witness the success and achievements of their sponsored children in Armenia.”

Lilia and her mother

Mother & Daughter 1.jpg

Credit: FAR Staff

h1

[Beneficiary Portraits]: Nonna B.

May 24, 2010

Nonna B.’s life has been filled with tragedy. Her father Gor was killed in a car accident on one of Syunik’s twisting roads when she was just three years old. Her mother Hermine then moved in with her parents for extra support. Later, her grandfather was killed in a robbery.

Nonna is now 15 and in 9th grade at the Kapan Secondary School. She is also a member of the “Erik Dance” ensemble. This ensemble was recognized as the winner in the Republican competition held in Yerevan in 2008, at which Nona received a nomination as the best dancer of the year. She also takes additional lessons to help refine her skills.

Hermine does her best to take care of Nonna but still struggles. Unemployment is rampant and Hermine is unable to find work to truly support her daughter. In May 2010, Nonna and Hermine received a CASP stipend for the first time. This additional support helps them make ends meet and Hermine can now buy the right clothes and shoes for Nonna. She is also extremely grateful for the kind support from the Diaspora.

Nonna

15 years old Nona from Kapan.jpg

Credit: FAR Staff

h1

[Beneficiary Portrait]: Seiran Stepanyan.

May 17, 2010

Seiran was one year old when his father Hrair was stabbed and killed while trying to break up a fight between some teenagers. His mother Mary was devastated. The couple, along with Seiran and their other son Yuri were living with Hrair’s parents in a cramped, two-room apartment at the time. This devastating murder completely turned their lives upside down. Mary was forced to lean on her in-laws for financial and psychological support.

Today, Mary and her in-laws continue to work very hard to try and support Seiran, now 10, and Yuri, now 16. The CASP program provides much needed supplemental help for them by providing money needed to buy food, clothing, and other necessities, like a new bed for Seiran, and also by offering moral support.

Seiran was also extremely happy when he recently received one of the new backpacks donated by the Women’s Guild of Armenian Church in America (Eastern Diocese).

Seiran Stepanyan with his mother

Seiran with his Mother.jpg

Credit: FAR Staff