Boosting agriculture, renovating stadiums, providing housing and planning medical missions and donor trips
Los Angeles, April 22, 2018 – Armenia Fund, the leading all-Armenian organization, with its vast network of donors, volunteers and partners, is continuing to fulfill its core mission of strengthening the economies of Armenia and Artsakh and implementing large-scale, infrastructure and nation-building projects.
Since its inception 25 years ago, Armenia Fund has helped raise over $350 million dollars and has a loyal support base of donors in the U.S. and globally. The non-profit organization first helped avert the humanitarian crisis during the critical years following Armenia’s independence from the Soviet Union and collapse of the USSR in the 1990s.
Armenia Fund then shifted its focus to expansive infrastructure development projects including the Goris-Stepanakert and Vardenis-Martakert highways connecting Artsakh to Armenia and remote villages to arterial roads, building and renovation of critical health care facilities, and large-scale programs to support agricultural production through major electrical, irrigation and potable water system improvements.
Concurrently, Armenia Fund has continued to implement projects which directly affect the health, wellbeing and the quality of life of local populations in Armenia and Artsakh. Schools, community centers and auditoriums, rural development and sustainability projects, as well as housing for those displaced due to the 1988 Spitak earthquake in Gyumri, have addressed the every-day needs of local populations.
“Thousands of families in Gyumri lost their homes during the Spitak earthquake and continue to live in metal cargo containers called domiks,” said Maria Mehranian, President of Armenia Fund USA. “ Our new campaign, called Gyumri 2.0, will address getting people out of their shacks and shanty towns and into multi-unit apartment buildings. The project envisions the complete reconstruction of a multi-unit building in Gyumri that will help provide much needed new apartments complete with appliances and furniture. The fundraiser in Southern California begins on June 10, culminating in a televised event in mid-July,” added Mehranian.
DONOR TRIPS & MEDICAL MISSIONS
This summer and fall, Armenia Fund is planning two donors’ trips to Armenia and Artsakh. These annual visits allow donors to see how their generosity changes lives. Participants also see historic sites in Armenia and Artsakh and experience the sights, sounds and the local cuisine through carefully-planned tours.
This year, donors will have the opportunity to visit the four (4) stadiums Armenia Fund is renovating for the Pan-Armenian Games in August. The venues will be used by thousands of athletes, their families and spectators from around the world. Artsakh is hosting the games for the first time, and the record number of participants expected will boost tourism and strengthen Artsakh’s economy.
Another dozen Armenia Fund projects have been completed or are near completion, so far this year. A state-of-the-art kindergarten in historic Ijevan in Armenia’s Tavush region will welcome students this fall. The new facility for 150 students replaces a dilapidated schoolhouse that was cramped and structurally unsafe. The kindergarten is the largest ever built by Armenia Fund, thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond and Ani Hartoonian, Mr. Grisha Sookiasian, and Mrs. Sonik Artounian.
In addition to funding programs addressing social issues such as domestic violence, veterans care and education, Armenia Fund benefactors Mr. Jean-Marie Atamian of New York is sponsoring the construction of new homes in the Chapar village in Artsakh. Housing for families with five or more children is part of Armenia Fund’s 2016 initiative for rebuilding war-ravaged communities in Artsakh. Some 30 homes have been built and furnished so far.
“In 2018, a large portion of the $14 million dollars raised globally, was earmarked to help farmers with adequate water supply for agricultural irrigation which in turn helps farmers to feed their families and export their produce to larger markets,” said Mehranian.
During her recent visit to Armenia and Artsakh, Mehranian also met with Artsakh President Bako Sahakian to discuss the Fund’s Projects. Mehranian and her counterparts from global Armenia Fund affiliates will reconvene in June for their annual Board of Trustees meeting to determine the focus of fundraising in the upcoming months, ahead of the Thanksgiving Day Telethon.