Extensive project is made possible by major donation from fund benefactor Armen Shakhazizyan

For Immediate Release ~ June 20, 2011

Yerevan, Armenia – Armenia Fund has launched extensive renovations of a landmark Artsakh institution, the Stepanakert Retirement Home. The large-scale project was initiated by Moscow-based industrialist Armen Shakhazizyan, who has donated U.S. $400,000 for its realization, and is co-financed by the government of Artsakh.

The only one of its kind in the republic, the Stepanakert Retirement Home accommodates 100 seniors, many of whom have physical disabilities. In addition, it provides supportive services to some 150 seniors at their residences.

Prior to making his contribution, Shakhazizyan had shared with the fund’s leadership his concern about the plight of seniors in Artsakh who must fend for themselves, and expressed strong willingness to support a project that would both provide them with living assistance and ease their loneliness.

Currently Armenia Fund is carrying out the preliminary stage of renovations at the Stepanakert Retirement Home.

“Our roster of major benefactors has been expanded with the addition of yet another exemplary Armenian, namely Mr. Armen Shakhazizyan, founder and CEO of the Luding group of companies,” said Ara Vardanyan, executive director of the fund. “In addition to contributing $300,000 toward Artsakh water-infrastructure initiatives at our Moscow Gala, Mr. Shakhazizyan has gone on to make a project-specific donation, seeking to help elderly individuals in Artsakh live a more dignified life.”

The two wings of the Stepanakert Retirement Home were last upgraded in 1988. Commenting on the critical need for a total overhaul, Irina Sargsyan, the home’s director, said, “The restrooms, plumbing system, and cafeteria are in a particularly bad shape. We do our best to compensate for the lack of creature comforts, providing our seniors with attentive care and treating them with utmost affection and respect.”

“I am confident that, once the renovations are complete, the Stepanakert Retirement Home will become for our seniors not a so-called last stage, but a wonderful environment where they will enjoy a well-deserved retirement,” Sargsyan continued. “We are very grateful to the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund and our benefactor, Mr. Armen Shakhazizyan, for initiating the reconstruction of our home.”

Apart from being a benefactor of the fund, Shakhazizyan is a vice-president of the National Olympic Committee of Armenia and an ongoing supporter of various development initiatives in both Armenia and Artsakh.