Vital initiative is co-sponsoredby French affiliate and government of Artsakh

For Immediate Release ~ February 14, 2011

Contact: Sarkis Kotanjian ~ 818-243-6222

Yerevan, Armenia – Armenia Fund’s kindergarten-construction project in Ghuze Chartar, a village in Artsakh’s Martuni Region, continues to proceed. Construction began in summer 2010.

The initiative, co-sponsored by the fund’s French affiliate and the government of Artsakh, is made possible through the financial support of Jean-Michel Grunberg, chairman of French toy manufacturer Ludendo Group, and Michel Pazoumian, chairman of the French companies Berenice and Eurelia. Grunberg and Pazoumian have made their contributions in memory of Emmanuel de Labarre, a fund benefactor who during the last years of his life was a key supporter of development projects in Artsakh.

Currently crews are building the future kindergarten’s roof and boiler room as well as carrying out the interior decoration. When completed, the two-story structure will feature a complement of modern amenities including spacious activity rooms, a well-equipped kitchen, a medical clinic, and a laundry. The building will also feature climate-control and fire-protection systems as well as large, fenced playgrounds. Slated to open its doors in the fall of this year, the kindergarten can accommodate up to 80 children.

Ghuze Chartar has not had a full-fledged kindergarten since 1988, when the village seceded from neighboring Chartar, becoming a separate administrative entity. Today only 40 Ghuze Chartar children attend kindergarten, which is housed in two classrooms at the community’s old school campus, built in the 1930s.

“Given the substandard condition of the campus, including its lack of essential amenities such as adequate restrooms, many families today prefer to not send their children to kindergarten,” says Principal Hasmik Harutyunyan.

The negligible number of preschoolers currently attending kindergarten will be a thing of the past, Harutyunyan adds, as she speaks of her anticipation that parents and students alike will be overjoyed to have a new, state-of-the-art kindergarten in the village later this year. The principal also says that the new campus will bring economic benefits to the community, by creating several new jobs.

With a population of close to 1,800, Ghuze Chartar is one of Martuni’s 40 villages. It is located some kilometers from the Azerbaijani border. Having sustained extensive damage during the Artsakh War, Ghuze Chartar is still recovering from the devastation and is in dire need of redevelopment, in terms of infrastructure and community institutions alike.

Armenia Fund, Inc., is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation established in 1994 to facilitate large-scale humanitarian and infrastructure development assistance to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Since 1991, Armenia Fund has rendered more than $190 million in development aid to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Armenia Fund, Inc. is the U.S. Western Region affiliate of �Hayastan� All-Armenian Fund. Tax ID# 95-4485698

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