The Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s Pan-European Phoneathon, the organization’s second major annual fundraising event, will take place during November 15-18.
Throughout the event, over 700 Armenian and non-Armenian volunteers from France, Germany,Switzerland, and Belgium will make phone appeals, with calls going out 12 hours a day. Stationed in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, and Toulouse, the callers will contact Armenian families, businesses, and organizations across Europe to request financial support for the ongoing development of Armenia and Artsakh, as well as emergency relief for the Syrian-Armenian community.
Complementing the main Phoneathon activities in France will be the Armenian communities of the Netherlands, Greece, and Sweden, also Brazil and Argentina, all of which will contribute to the fundraising effort through locally-held phone drives.
The Phoneathon will benefit the construction of community centers in villages throughout Artsakh and comprehensive agricultural development in Armenia’s Tavush Region. In addition, a part of the proceeds will be dedicated to providing urgent aid to the Syrian- Armenian community.
This year the Phoneathon will be hosted by soccer star Youri Raffi Djorkaeff, who helped secure the 1998 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2000 championship for the French national team; and Daniel Bilalian, director of sports programming with France TÈlÈvisions.
In the words of Bedros Terzian, chairman of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s French affiliate, the Phoneathon will once again rally Armenian communities in Europe and beyond to boost the ongoing development of Armenia and Artsakh.
“Sadly, the challenges still facing our homeland have now been compounded by the terrible civil unrest impacting our sisters and brothers inSyria,” Terzian said. “Assisting the Syrian-Armenian community in its hour of need requires our united effort.”
Funds raised through last year’s Pan-European Phoneathon were used to implement vital water-infrastructure projects in close to ten rural communities in Artsakh and the Tavush Region, renovate and modernize the Music Library of Yerevan’s Tchaikovsky School, refurbish the Gyumri Children’s Home, build a water network in Shushi’s Karin Tak village, and carry out several agricultural initiatives in Tavush.
“Those Phoneathon calls received by Armenian families and businesses in the Diaspora subsequently translate into schools, water pipelines, hospitals, and other improvements in the homeland,” said Ara Vardanyan, executive director of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. “It is precisely this process of grassroots support culminating in palpable results that the Phoneathon has achieved in the past 12 years.”