Archive for the ‘FAR Schools’ Category


[FAR Schools]: New Teachers Join School in Tavush.

December 8, 2010

The Tavush region’s Hovhanes Hintliyan secondary school is only 200 meters from the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, where some days both students and teachers can hear the sound of shots firing off in the distance.

After the school’s elementary students finish their studies around 12 o’clock, they must wait between two and three hours for the school bus to bring them home. To productively fill these hours, the Constantinople Armenian Relief Society (CARS) administration recently hired two more teachers to work with the children.

FAR’s Press Secretary Levon Lachikyan recently returned from a trip to Tavush, where he was able to meet Kristine Pashinyan and Lusine Hakobyan, the newest additions to Hintliyan. For both of them, the job is a dream. After graduating from university, neither of them worked. Instead, they married and had children. Still, they have always looked for an opportunity to apply their skills and at last are glad to have it. Now, they spend these few hours happily teaching these children how to write, play music and recite poetry.

Lusine Hakobyan

Lusine Hagopyan

Credit: Levon Lachikyan

“We are very happy to start our career in a school that bears the name of the great pedagogue Hovhannes Hintliyan,” Lusine said. “We are here to stay.”

Kristine Pashinyan

Qristine Pashinyan

Credit: Levon Lachikyan

The school, founded by Mr. Hintlian in 1909 in Constantinople, was opened with a mission to introduce the new European teaching models of the time into the Armenian educational system.  The Hintlian School was closed in 1988.  However, thanks to the support of the Constantinople Armenians Relief Society (CARS), a secondary school in the Gayan community in the Tavush region of Armenia was named after Hovhannes Hintlian, and his legacy therefore continues.   FAR is responsible for the administration and execution of the day-to-day operations of the school.


[FAR Schools]: FAR Acknowledged for its Partnership with Yerevan School.

December 2, 2010

FAR recently had the pleasure of being named Yerevan #89 Secondary School’s “Best Friend.” Each year at the end of November, the school holds its annual superlative competition and distributes awards. For the past few years, FAR has donated materials like new computers and furniture. FAR has also helped to repair the school’s previously outdated heating system and, most recently, it helped to install a brand new video surveillance system on school grounds as well. Recently, many unwanted visitors have been trespassing on school grounds during the day.

Performance During the Awarding Ceremony


Credit: Felix Arustamyan

“The most important security issue at our school is now solved,” School Director Ofelya Petrosyan happily admitted. “With this modern equipment, teachers will be able to focus more on their classroom activities and lessons, as opposed to having their attention diverted elsewhere.” Additional staff will now be able to better focus on monitoring.

New Security Equipment of the School

Varujan School_Remote_controller

Credit: Felix Arustamyan

The awards ceremony was held in the school’s auditorium on November 30. Students were active participants, leading song and dance routines for the audience. Mrs. Petrosyan handed the certificate to FAR’s Press Secretary Levon Lachikyan along with a gold medal in token of the school’s gratitude and appreciation.

FAR’s Press Secretary Levon Lachikyan
Receiving “The Best Friend” Award

Gold medal awarding

Credit: Felix Arustamyan


[FAR Schools]: Gyumri Octet Music School and Vazgen A Secondary School Collaborate on Anniversary Concert.

November 9, 2010

By Marina Bazayeva

Celebrations have historically been linked to life cycles — harvest-time and the change of season, for instance. The anniversaries of momentous life events are always legitimate reasons to celebrate: we remember the special day and we honor the time that has past since the event took place.


Credit: Marina Bazayeva

This fall, the Octet Music School and Vazgen A Secondary School celebrated the one-year anniversary of their collaboration. Both of these schools are FAR inspired and FAR supported. For the past year, students have used each school’s facilities to conduct their studies and also learn and rehearse their music.


Credit: Marina Bazayeva

Thirty children from both Octet and Vazgen A recently performed in a concert at Vazgen A. The glorious sound of their music was proof of these children’s undeniable talent and dedication. The level of their ability to master classical, folk and jazz pieces was striking, even for FAR representatives who have witnessed the children perform many times.


Credit: Marina Bazayeva

Both the Octet and Vazgen schools are situated in a more isolated area of Gyumri, where students work hard each and every day. Their performance struck Gyumri’s core. It is a testament to the fact that Gyumri is a city that will foster the growth and talent of its artists, despite the tragedy it has faced.


Credit: Marina Bazayeva


[FAR Schools]: FAR Benefactor Dr. John Ounjian Celebrates his 90th with Gyumri’s Children.

October 25, 2010

By Marina Bazayeva

Retired New York Doctor and dedicated FAR partner John Ounjian recently celebrated his 90th birthday in Armenia surrounded by friends and the children he’s so generously helped to get an education.

Dr. Ounjian In the School At His
90th Anniversary Celebration Ceremony

Dr. Ounjian in the school at his 90th anniversary celebration ceremony

Credit: Marina Bazayeva

Dr. Ounjian’s support helped to reconstruct the building that now houses the Ounjian School (named after his parents Armenak and Yeghisabet Ounjian), which was destroyed in the 1988 earthquake. Today, roughly 500 students study there. Dr. Ounjian attends graduation every year.

Dr. Ounjian In the School
With Scholarship Recipients

Dr. Ounjian in the school with scholarship recipients

Credit: Marina Bazayeva

Each fall, the doctor takes a trip to Armenia, usually accompanied by a few friends. His first day in Yerevan, he was warmly welcomed by FAR’s entire staff. Projects Director Arto Vorperian, also in town from New York, presented Dr. Ounjian with a letter of appreciation from Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) and president of FAR. The letter illustrated Dr. Ounjian’s tremendous role in the development of Gyumri and deeply thanked him for his dedication.

Dr. Ounjian made a trip to Gyumri, where he visited the school. He was greeted warmly by the students who performed a talent show in his honor. To top it off, the doctor taught an astronomy and physics class for the students filled with the enthusiasm, vigor and intellect they have all grown to love. 

Dr. Ounjian Conducts Astronomy Class
For High School Kids

Dr. Ounjian conducts Astronomy class for high school kids

Credit: Marina Bazayeva


[FAR Schools]: Ounjian Friends visit CSCF.

October 4, 2010

FAR supporter Dr. John Ounjian and his friends recently paid a visit to FAR’s Children’s Support Foundation Center, where they learned all about the center’s programs and were wowed by its dynamic young residents. FAR Programs Director Mr. Arto Vorperian accompanied the group.

Dr. Ounjian, a retired New York doctor is chief benefector of FAR’s Ounjian School. Each year he brings his friends with him on a trip to Armenia, visits the school and other FAR projects.

Ounjian Friends at CSC

Credit: FAR Staff

Ounjian Friends visit

Credit: FAR Staff


[FAR Schools]: Ounjian and Friends Visit Armenia.

September 28, 2010

It’s become tradition for FAR benefactor John Ounjian, New York doctor and benefector of FAR’s Ounjian School, to bring his friends with him on his annual trip to Armenia. Each year the group pays a visit to FAR project sites and spends time becoming acquainted with everyday life and the needs of Armenia. They also stopped by FAR’s Yerevan office, where staff celebrated Dr. Ounjian’s 90th birthday, and new guests learned a bit more about FAR’s work.

Dr. Ounjian & Friends at FAR Yerevan Office

Ounjian & Friends at FAR office.jpg

Credit: FAR Staff

The group also celebrated 10 years of the Ounjian School, an institution that hundreds of students attend. The building that housed the Ounjian School was initially destroyed in the 1988 earthquake and rebuilt thanks to the doctor’s efforts. FAR provides school meals, textbooks, and heating costs for the school, in addition to much-needed stipends to underprivileged students. Building expansion began in 2010.

Dr. Ounjian & Friends with FAR Staff

Dr. Ounjian & Friends.jpg

Credit: FAR Staff

FAR Programs Director Arto Vorperian also presented the congratulation letter from Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of Diocese of Armenian Church of America (Eastern) and the president of the Fund for Armenian Relief to Dr. Ounjian.

(from left to right) Arto Vorperian, Bagrat Sargsyan,
Margarit Piliposyan & Dr. Ounjian

Dr. Ounjian

Credit: FAR Staff


[FAR Schools]: Ounjian School Continues to Grow.

July 31, 2010

Although construction has already been in progress for five months, an opening ceremony dedicated to the launch of the Ounjian School’s new sub building was held on July 8 in honor of its chief supporter Dr. Hovhannes (John) Ounjian’s the arrival at the project site.

The former N21 secondary school, which was completely ruined after the 1988 earthquake, was reconstructed due to the generous benevolence of Dr. Ounjian, who is from New York and also an honorable citizen of Gyumri. The school is named after the benefactor’s parents Armenak and Yeghisabet Ounjian.

Dr. Ounjian also undertook the expenses of the reinforcement and renovation of the school’s sub building, which will contain new classrooms, a library, and language room.

The Reverend Father Tateos Abdalian, a representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church in America (Eastern Diocese), opened the ceremony with a hearty blessing. During his welcome speech, FAR Country Director Bagrat Sargsyan recognized Dr. Ounjian’s mission in Gyumri, which enables 450 children study in favorable conditions. Since 2002, nearly 150 school graduates have also obtained higher education thanks to the support of Ounjian Scholarship Fund.

Dr. Ounjian, Shirak Regional Governor Ashot Giziryan, and several program executives carved their signatures in the wall of one of the rooms to commemorate the ceremony.

Several guests attended, including Armenia’s Deputy Regional Governor, FAR Programs Director Arto Vorperian, who was visiting from the USA, FAR Shirak Department Director Marina Bazayeva, ACYOA APS group members, students, teachers, and journalists.

Shortly after the schoolchildren’s acknowledgement speeches, Dr. Ounjian promised to support the school so that it will one day be rated as the best educational institution in the Republic of Armenia.

IMG_2503 +.JPG

Credit: FAR Staff


[FAR Schools]: FAR Secures Funding for School Renovations.

July 22, 2010

FAR recently secured a $25,000 grant from the Open Society Institute, which will help the organization’s efforts to rehabilitate the Gavar Special School and improve its vocational training program.

The school is situated in Gegharkunik Marz, the poorest region in Armenia, and it is the only government-run school in the area targeted to disabled and handicapped children. While staff salaries and utilities are financed by the government, no funding has been dedicated to improving infrastructure until now.

FAR’s efforts will enhance the school’s vocational training in sewing, knitting, embroidery, and wood carving workshops. FAR will also re-establish Gavar’s physical training facility, which is currently devoid of equipment. In addition, the school needs to be made handicapped accessible. Over the next year, this project will help to improve the school’s capacity to serve children in need and help them gain skills they can ultimately use to support themselves.

Gavar’s old courtyard with provisional goal area

Gavar Special School N 1_old hall 2_.jpg

Credit: FAR Staff


[FAR Schools]: New Computers Will Benefit Gavar #1 Special School.

July 7, 2010

Margaret Ajemian Ahnert, author of The Knock at the Door who traveled to Armenia in April, recently donated brand new computers to the Gavar #1 Special School.

Ms. Ahnert visited the school as well as some other FAR projects after presenting the Armenian translation of her book at the Genocide museum in Yerevan. She was compelled to give after meeting with the 80 disabled children who attend the school, talking with them, and learning about their interests and hobbies.

Until now, the school has only had two worn out machines to work from. All of us at FAR would like to express our gratitude for this generous donation. These new computers are sure to be utilized and enjoyed by students for years to come.

New Computers at the Gavar Special School

IMG_2332 +_resize.jpg

Credit: FAR Staff


[FAR Schools]: FAR Supporter Lynn Nakashian Pays Visit to Gavar.

June 24, 2010

FAR supporter Lynn Nakashian recently visited the Gavar Orphanage and Guest House to tour the facilities and spend time with some of the young residents. This was Ms. Nakashian’s first time seeing the revamped facility since her last visit five years ago and she was very impressed by the improvements that have been made. Renovations are taking place at various facilities in Gavar, including the Gavar #1 Special School and its Child Development and Rehabilitation Center.

FAR is grateful to Ms. Nakashian and her family for their ongoing support, which will continue to support the Gavar orphanage and its residents.

Lynn Nakashin is visiting the Gavar Guest House

Lynn Nakashin's visit to Gavar Guest House 6.jpg

Credit: FAR Staff