Archive for the ‘Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP)’ Category

h1

[CASP]: Siranush Summer Camp Comes to a Close.

August 31, 2010

The Siranush camp wrapped up its summer session on August 25. Now the 77 Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program beneficiaries who had spent a good part of their summer playing and learning in Yeghegnadzor have returned home with some unforgettable memories to cherish.

Camp3

Credit: FAR Staff

A bonfire and feast were held on the campers’ last day and the children participated in singing and dancing as well. All eagerly expressed their thankfulness to CASP and to FAR for making it possible to attend the camp and find an escape, however brief, from work and school during the year.

Camp1

Credit: FAR Staff

The Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program supports children from low-income families year round through monthly stipends to help them make ends meet. CASP also enables these kids to attend camps like Siranush each summer.

CAMP2

Credit: FAR Staff

All of us at FAR wish these children the very best!  

h1

[CASP]: Profile: Camp Instructor Ramela Danielyan.

August 26, 2010

By Levon Lachikyan

Children from single-parent households who are supported by the Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program have the opportunity to attend summer camp each year. The camps provide a healthy outlet to children who are able to enjoy 20 days of fun and activity, while also getting a break from the pressures of home and work.

The camps also provide opportunity to parents of these children. In fact, several instructors at the Siranush camp in Yeghegnadzor like Ramela Danielyan are also single-mothers who rely on CASP support year round.

Ramelia came to Siranush from Kapan. Her past is mixture of both happiness and sorrow. Born in the border village of Davit Bek, she was in eighth grade when Azeris began bombing her village and was forced to move with her classmates to Kajaran to finish school. Ramela attended Yerevan State Engineering University’s Kapan campus. While there, she met and married Edik Vardanyan and had a son and a daughter. Their happiness didn’t last long, however. Edik fought in the Karabagh War and was killed in a firearm explosion on August 5, 2001.

CASP Summer camp_Ramella

Credit: FAR Staff

“Of course, it is impossible to erase the pain, but it is still possible to soothe and console it,” Ramela said.

Having always loved teaching, Ramela decided to continue her education at Yerevan State Pedagogical Institute, where she studied elementary education and worked in their village school. It was there that she learned about CASP. And while Ramela herself never spent time at a summer camp growing up, she now works as a camp instructor.

“The camp is like a family,” she said. “You should see what talented children we have here. They work everyday to improve.” She does not make a distinction between her own children and the rest of the group and she complements all of her work with love.

It is worth mentioning that Ramela also writes. She shared with me her lyrical writings, tender and filled with love. This love, coupled with her positive outlook on life, will indeed help her to continue on a positive path.

h1

[CASP]: Blessing of the Grapes.

August 23, 2010

August 15 is a special day in the Armenian Apostolic Church, during which Armenians not only celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of St. Mary, but also the Blessing of the Grapes, a recognition of the fertility of Armenia’s land and the abundance of its harvest. 

Father Vazgen Blesses the Grapes

Grapes blessing1

Credit: FAR Staff

The Siranush CASP summer camp in Yeghegnadzor celebrated this holiday with a fruit feast, singing, dancing and a talent show in the evening.

The Talent Show Featured
a Miss Siranush Contest

Miss Siranush _Contest

Credit: FAR Staff

Yeghegnadzor’s Father Vazgen Hovhannisyan visited to bless the grapes, which were distributed to the children.

Siranush’s Children Enjoy Blessed Grapes

Grapes blessing2

Credit: FAR Staff

h1

[CASP]: FAR Scholarship Recipients See Summer as a Chance to Give Back.

August 20, 2010

Year after year, the recipients of FAR’s scholarship programs volunteer as group leaders at some of FAR’s summer camps in Armenia. For the second year in a row, Mathevosian and Jerair Nishanian scholarship recipients who are in their final stages of college are spending their time at the Siranush camp in Yeghegnadzor. Some of these students participate in other FAR projects during the year, helping out at the senior home in Vanadzor or at the Children’s Support Foundation Center in Yerevan, for example.

 2

Credit: FAR Staff

Ani Kalashyan and Haykaram Avetisyan from Armenia State University of Economics and Jerair Nishanian Scholarship program beneficiaries Eduard Ghazaryan, Varazdat Avetisyan and Narek Knyazyan from Gavar State University are enthusiastically working with children between the ages of 10 and 15. Each of these children are supported year-round by the Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program, through which caring people provide monthly stipends to help their families make ends meet. CASP also enables these kids to attend camps like Siranush each summer. They come from various regions of Armenia and parts of Georgia as well.

1

Credit: FAR Staff

For students like Ani who volunteers much of her time to FAR and who also comes from a low-income family, the camp is another way to give back and show her appreciation for the opportunity to receive an education.

Two weeks into the start of camp and the students had already grown close with the children. This was apparent to FAR staff during a recent visit. The atmosphere was filled with sheer joy. 

Instraktor Ani

Credit: FAR Staff

h1

[CASP Beneficiary Profile]: Lilit Narinyan.

August 12, 2010

By Levon Lachikyan

There are 75 CASP children currently at the Siranush Camp in Yeghegnadzor. Normally, if one looks carefully, they might notice sadness in their eyes, as none of them have fathers. During our visit, however, all seemed to be happy. Today, not every Armenian family can afford to send their child to a camp. Fortunately, Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program, which provides financial support to children in need, creates such a unique opportunity.

One of these children is Lilit Narinyan. This 14 year old has an inexplicable charm and dances beautifully. Lilit was born in town Goris and she was four when her father died. Today, she lives with her mother and brother in a rented apartment just outside of town.

Lilit CASP

Credit: Felix Arustamyan

Our conversation focused on many of her achievements. In 2004 she was deemed “Miss Syunik”; the same year she won second place in the “Miss Hayastan”contest. She was also named “Miss Asia” at the 2005 “Miss World” competition. She is also very accomplished in dance. As a solo dancer of the Syunik Dance Ensemble she has traveled throughout Armenia, as well as Hungary and Poland. Now she is in the tenth grade of Goris #2 secondary school. “I can’t imagine myself without dance. Dance is my life,” Lilit said.

At the Siranush camp, her everyday routine is full and she has made many new friends. This is certainly evident as her two friends Alina from Sisian sat next to her during our conversation. Both praised Lilit’s talent and expressed their wishes that she return to camp next summer.

Lilit dancing

Credit: Felix Arustamyan

h1

[CASP]: CASP Summer Camp in Yeghegnadzor off to an Energetic Start.

August 11, 2010

This week, FAR staff along with youth activities trainer Onik Avakyan helped to open this year’s session at Camp Siranush near Yeghegnadzor. Every summer, kids who are enrolled in the Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program, or CASP, have the opportunity to participate in such summer camps free of charge. FAR helps to manage CASP in collaboration with the Women’s Guild Central Council of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern). Through CASP, children under the age of 18 who have lost one or both parents, receive stipends from international sponsors.

2

Credit: Felix Arustamyan

This year, 75 CASP children are attending the camp. They are joined by an additional 42 students from other universities in Armenia and Georgia, along with counselors, teachers and other staff.

Avakyan led a training with camp counselors, during which they learned new activities and ways of working with the children through dance, sports and other types of creative activity to foster partnerships. After the training, he led the children in relay races and competitions that were enjoyed by all.

Hairstyles & Design contest among Camp children

4

Credit: Felix Arustamyan

The Syunik Diocese runs Camp Siranush. Father Vazgen Hovhannisyan and Abraham Bishop Mkrtichyan, Primate of the Syunik Diocese also organized Christian education discussions for the children during this time.

CASP children enjoying meal at camp kitchen

1

Credit: Felix Arustamyan

h1

[CASP]: Impressions of CASP’s Summer Camp.

August 5, 2010

By Marina Bazayeva

Summer Camp: a homework-free zone, filled with fun, fresh air and friendship. For the kids supported by the Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program, it is also a work-free zone. At home many of them constantly help their mothers or grandparents do housework or care for their younger siblings. In addition, the majority of the nearly 20 kids and teenagers who are enrolled in the 20-day FAR “Siranush” Summer Camp, located near the village of Hermon in Vaiots Dzor Province (population: 53,000), have never been outside their own province.

They’ve never had a chance to socialize with their peers from other regions or compatriots from other countries. So, this newfound association will provide the local kids with a broader understanding of another world, culture and mentality. It will provide them with a sense of unity with other Armenians from all over the world as well as show them that there are an abundant variety of traditions and customs in their country.

All of this will enrich their development and build their foundation for their future. And the abundance of care, love, and lack of social problems ensure a pleasant and enjoyable stay.

Every summer, underprivileged children who are either orphaned or who come from single-parent homes are able to attend camp through the help of the Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program.

Children depart for summer camp

 

Camp

Credit: FAR Staff