Archive for the ‘FAR Sponsorships’ Category

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[FAR Sponsorships]: My Hope: More Support For Aygepar.

January 7, 2011

By Eduard Karapetyan

The village of Aygepar, located in Armenia’s Tavush region, was founded in 1937. Prior to the Karabagh War it was home to several successful factories where the local workforce produced wine, cigarettes and canned goods. War, however, caused death and economic collapse and many residents temporarily fled the area for safety.

Village Aygepar


Credit: Eduard Karapetyan

Many young families have since returned and others are continuing to re-build their lives, despite the fact that the factories have not reopened, there’s little job opportunity, a shortage of water, and violence is still ever-present. But even the slightest hope for improvement and peace in this area inspires residents, according to Mayor Andranik Ayginyan, 36. “There are other many difficulties, but we will not leave our land,” he said.

The Azerbaijan Border Lies
Several Meters From the Village Aygepar

Credit: Eduard Karapetyan

FAR visited this town in December, where we delivered Christmas presents to the children of Aygepar’s sole kindergarten. Ecstatic, the children sang songs, danced and recited poems for us during our stay.

The kindergarten is in disrepair, of course, but it’s obvious that it is maintained through love and devotion of its staff and teachers. Here, everything is done with love.

Aygepar  Kindergarten


Credit: Eduard Karapetyan

Currently, the town’s population totals 736. Only a road separates Aygepar from the neighboring village of Alibeyli (pop 2,600) in Azerbaijan. Sniper fire from Azeri troops still pierces the area and many of these children have to take alternative routes to school through the backyards of neighbors’ homes when the situation becomes especially tense.

Having witnessed all of this last month, I strongly hope to spark the attention of kind people, benefactors and different organizations willing to support this blockaded, but beautiful little village. Every child has the right to leave in peaceful conditions, regardless his or her nationality, ethnicity or beliefs.

My wish is for Aygepar to have peace.

Kids of  Aygepar  Kindergarten

Credit: Eduard Karapetyan

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[FAR Sponsorships]: Donors Bring Support to the Tavush Region in time for Christmas.

December 24, 2010

By Edward Karapetyan

FAR has tried to support the children of the Tavush region in recent years. This Christmas generous donors have helped us to continue this pattern. The goal of this year’s visit to Tavush was to deliver gifts and awards to local children at Aygepar Kindergarten and the Berd Art School from American supporter John Thomas, the Megerian Rugs Company and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

Father Aram during Distribution of
Christmas Gifts to Tavush Region Children 

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Credit: Edward Karapetyan

Two years ago, John provided financial support and gifts to 53 of the region’s needy and orphaned children, which included stationary, clothes, candy and various Christian symbols and items. This time John gave the children 10,000 AMD along with some sweets. The children were extremely happy to receive the presents from someone who has now become a dear friend.

During our visit we also presented the children gifts provided by UMCOR, which included toiletries and stationary.

Christmas Gifts Distribution
To Children in Tavush Region

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Credit: Edward Karapetyan

The Megerian Rugs Company, which has operated in Armenia since 2002, also helped to support children in Tavush. Established in New York in 1917, the company began by repairing and refurbishing old rugs to resell. Today, its purpose is to continue the tradition of Armenian embroidery and rug weaving. So, Mergerian provided the Berd Art School students with high quality materials, including yarn and special dyes to enable children do the work they love and carry on the traditions of Armenian rug making.

Berd Art School Students
Receive Megerian Rug’s Presents

Art school in Berd 1

Credit: Edward Karapetyan

During our visit to the art school, we saw that the children were extremely happy to receive pounds and pounds of threads for rug making. Fourteen year-old Mariam Badalyan said not only would she finally be able to finish weaving the small rug that she’d previously left, she would also be able to weave a bigger rug with more intricate patterns.

Group Instructor Satik Davtyan
With Mariam Badalyan and Other Students

Art school in Berd

Credit: Edward Karapetyan

Group instructor Satik Davtyan said children previously had to stop attending the classes because of the lack of threads. Now they have the opportunity to weave rugs and improve their skills.

Megerian Rugs in Armenia

Megerian rugs in Armenia

Credit: Edward Karapetyan

All the Christmas gifts were given out at St. Astvatsatsin Church, thanks to the help and participation of Father Aram Mirzoyan (Der Aram), spiritual father of Berd. All participants recited Armenian prayer “Hayr Mer” and were later blessed and congratulated by Der Aram.

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[FAR Sponsorships]: Seven lives benefit from the Khanjians.

May 6, 2010

The Khanjian family, one of FAR’s most steadfast supporters, is helping seven children from Gyumri to go to school and purchase necessities like food and clothing, through the 2009-2010 Khanjian Sponsorship Program.

Sebastien Khandjian began supporting three children last year through a twice a year living stipend. Happy to be giving these children a real chance, he convinced his parents and other family members to do the same. Now, four more children have the support of the Khanjians and the opportunity for a better life.

The Khanjian’s ties with FAR stretch back to 2003 when Sebastien came to Gyumri with Patrick Sarkissian and began the Gyumri Information Technology Center (GTECH), which has helped to transform the city’s information technology industry into a booming sector.

Khanjian beneficiaries and their families

Khanjians_May2010.jpg

Credit: FAR Staff