Posts Tagged ‘fund for armenian relief’

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[FAR New York]: Moving the Blog to a New Location…

January 12, 2011

Dear Friends,

Over the past year, at this location, the Fund for Armenian Relief has brought you the latest news about our work, as well as the happenings within the Armenian community through our blog. Today, we’re happy to announce that we’re new and improved – blogwise, that is. Now fully integrated into our website http://farusa.org, with better image quality, better browse capability, and stronger connection to the rest of the social media world, we’re definitely hoping to enhance your reading experience.

This is also another way to make it easier for you to stay in touch with our community, of course. Whether it’s a story about our child protection program, the latest scholarship recipient or a link to one of our favorite blogs, we hope that our new layout will make it easier and more enjoyable for you to stay informed on the latest and keep the conversation going.

Please do stay in touch and visit us at http://blog.farusa.org.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you.

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[FAR New York]

August 4, 2010

With profound sorrow we received the news of Mrs. Helen Mardigian’s passing away.

True humanitarians, the Mardigian Family, and Mrs. Helen Mardigian personally, have contributed significantly to many virtuous causes. In 2008 they established The Mardigian Family Foundation together with FAR to support Child Protection Programs in Armenia.

On behalf of the Fund for Armenian Relief, we express our sympathy and offer our prayers to the Mardigian family.

A note from Archbishop Khajag Barsamian.

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Credit: Artur Petrosyan

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[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.

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Credit: FAR Staff

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[Dispatches From Armenia]: Lost in Translation.

July 29, 2010

I realize this title is kind of a cop out. But there’s some truth to it. I was lucky enough to constantly be around an Armenian or Russian speaker during my first two weeks here and I could easily get by with my Armenian “hello” and “thank you.”

Now, when I’m out wandering the streets of Yerevan, I run into some problems. The other day I asked for coffee and then I inadvertently refused it. (Refusing rich, delicious Armenian coffee is a now crime in my book, too.) We had to have a third party intervention. Just days before that, I asked for lemonade but ended up with pear juice. Worse things can happen due to my language deficiencies, I know. And at least I’m trying. I think I’ve mastered how to ask for a bottle of water, (essential in this heat) and now I’m working on the forms of you, us, we, etc. Small steps.

Lost in Yerevan

 

Credit: Hasmik Manukyan

One thing’s for certain — I could listen to Armenian for hours and stare at the Armenian signs I see everywhere because the alphabet fascinates me. Does that count? Regardless, I’m so appreciative that most Armenians I meet tolerate my bad pronunciation and dearth of vocabulary, even when their questions are met with my perplexed looks. Their patience and understanding are a testament to their warmth and understanding. Shnorhakal em Hayastan. 

Erin –

Etchings at Tatev Monastery

Credit: FAR Staff
 

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[ACYOA Dispatches]: Trip to Armenia Becomes a Character Building Experience.

July 28, 2010

By Levon Lachikyan

When Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) established the American Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA) in 1946, his aim was to join the two directions of the new Armenian-American generation’s education – Christian and Armenian.

The 2010 ACYOA ASP Group

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Credit: FAR Staff

Pursuing the same purpose, the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) has been organizing pilgrimages to the homeland in recent years. This summer, the ACYOA’s Armenia Service Program (ASP) partnered with FAR to focus volunteering efforts on FAR projects in Gyumri. During the trip (June 29 – July 20), the ASP group worked at FAR’s Ounjian School, which is undergoing renovations, and at the FAR Soup Kitchen, which serves Gyumri’s elderly community.

The group leader was the Rev. Tateos R. Abdalian, director of department for the Mission Parishes of Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern).

FAR’s Shirak Branch organized a very interesting itinerary, which allowed the youngsters to meet with their peers or with adults.

Fr. Tateos and the ASP Group
at FARs Children Center

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Credit: FAR Staff

The one-week of volunteer work in Gyumri and the travel throughout Armenia ensured opportunity for the ASPers to know Armenia from inside. They were fascinated by Gyumri’s architecture and met with families who had been living in temporary metal shelters for the more than twenty years since the earthquake hit. They listened to the wonderful music played by the children of Octet Music School, who must study in temporary shelters as well. At the same time, the ASPers witnessed the outpouring of support for the students of the Ounjian School. With great attention they listened to the stories of the soup kitchen beneficiaries and were surprised when, for instance, they learned that 73-year-old grandma Noune has been living without electricity for nearly 22 years since the earthquake struck.

Young construction group

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Credit: FAR Staff

All this brought them closer together. During this trip, they lived just as their peers in their homeland, celebrating the “Vardavar” holiday and spending a wonderful day under the arches of the Marmashen Monastery.

ACYOA ASPers hailed from the East Coast of the USA – New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and so on. Among them were James Balakian, son of outstanding writer Peter Balakian, Nickolas, grandson of famous benefactor Nazar Nazaryan, among others.

Please read all their stories on our blog.
(Please scroll down after clicking the link)

The ACYOA Bus

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Credit: FAR Staff

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[Dispatches From Armenia]: A Glimpse of CME.

July 28, 2010

It’s amazing what some of Armenia’s doctors are able to work with. Today, while visiting several medical centers in and around Yerevan I was able to see where the physicians participating in this month’s Continuing Medical Education Program are based. Walking through neonatology wards and intensive care units, I heard a few stories about their home institutions.

One anesthesiologist must observe through facial expression and movement how her patients under anesthesia react during surgery because her hospital in Vanadzor doesn’t have all of the proper monitoring equipment. Another neonatologist is one of a team of two who must care for the 30 infants who come to her hospital every month. Her hospital also lacks proper equipment and they are simply unable to transport these children to Yerevan in the case of severe emergencies. And then there are other obstacles, like no electricity, no running water, etc.

I’ve seen similar conditions in other parts of the world. But hearing these stories, no matter how brief, still leaves me incredulous and also awestruck by these doctors’ dedication and resourcefulness. Things need to continue to change, however. The CME program gives them the opportunity to spend a month training with leading specialists in Yerevan. And they can learn new methods and establish a network with their mentors that they can use in the future. CME is making strides with healthcare in this country and with a waiting list of more than 100 people, demand for it is high. With more support it can be expanded, and all of Armenia will continue to benefit as that expansion happens.

Erin –

A modern hospital in Yerevan

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Credit: FAR Staff

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[FAR Scholarships]: Nishanian Scholars Graduate Gavar State University.

July 27, 2010

For nearly nine years, the Jerair Nishanian Foundation has implemented the Jerair Nishanian Scholarship Program in Armenia through FAR. This program has given more than 50 socially vulnerable students from Gavar State University in the Gegharkunik region and Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction the opportunity to continue on to higher education.

This year, 12 of the program’s 53 beneficiaries graduated from Gavar State University. One graduate student and seven undergraduate students earned degrees with honors, also known as “Red Diplomas.” Gavar State University Rector Ruzanna Hakobyan, Der Markos Bishop Hovhannisyan, Gegharkunik Diocese Primate, and other guests attended the ceremony. Ruzanna Hakobyan and Der Markos opened the ceremony with their welcome speeches.

While bittersweet, the atmosphere was also exciting and joyful. The 79 graduate students and 253 undergraduates had to say farewell to their beloved university, yet they were also proud. They are now able to fully contribute to the development of their country with their newly achieved knowledge and skills.

In their speeches, the students thanked first and foremost supporter and friend of GSU Jerair Nishanian, who gave them the opportunity to fulfill their dream and study at the university. Graduates also promised to help students in similar conditions at their first opportunity to do so.

Twelve beneficiaries received their diploma

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Credit: FAR Staff