Within the framework of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund Board of Trustees’ annual meeting in Yerevan, a delegation led by Executive Director Ara Vardanyan began a string of project-site visits and unveilings of newly completed projects in Artsakh and Armenia. The delegation comprises close to 45 trustees, representatives of affiliates worldwide, colleagues, and benefactors.
The events kicked off on May 20, as the delegation traveled to Artsakh via the Vardenis-Martakert Highway, the construction of which will be completed in autumn. The first event was the official opening of the newly built community center of Kochoghot (Martakert Region), a village near the Vardenis-Martakert Highway. The construction and furnishing of the multifunctional community center were made possible by the financial support of the fund’s French affiliate, with additional support from the government of Artsakh. The Kochoghot community center houses the village mayor’s office, a medical clinic, a library, a game room, and a large hall equipped with a kitchen. In recent years, French-Armenian support has enabled the fund to build similar community centers in 12 villages throughout Artsakh, helping vastly improve the daily lives of close to 7,700 residents.
On May 21, the delegation held opening ceremonies for two more community centers, in the villages of Kyuratagh (Hadrut Region) and Sargsashen (Martuni Region). The construction of both community centers — which, as with all such structures built by the fund, feature a full complement of modern amenities — was likewise sponsored by French-Armenians, with additional assistance from the government of Artsakh. Given its ongoing and instrumental role in the realization of major development projects across Artsakh, the French-Armenian community is held in high regard by the grateful citizens of the republic.
Today, on May 22, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund delegation visited Stepanakert’s School No. 9, which is undergoing a large-scale renovation sponsored by the fund’s US Western Region affiliate, with a generous donation from benefactor Gerald Turpanjian. With 395 students, the school is unique in that it complements primary and secondary education with inclusive education for special-needs children, as well as specialized classes for hearing-impaired children. The School No. 9 is the latest of several Stepanakert educational institutions that have been rebuilt and modernized by the fund.
Subsequently the delegation will visit the newly built Stepanakert Oncology Center, which opened its doors in April. The state-of-the-art medical center was made possible through the sponsorship of French-Armenian benefactor Richard Ohanessian, with additional support from the government of Artsakh.
Later today, the delegation will attend the opening ceremony of the second wing of the Shushi Cultural and Youth Center comprising a large auditorium. The extensive renovation of the building was sponsored by the government of Artsakh and supervised by the fund. The newly renovated second wing, which comprises a hall with a seating capacity of 368, will now become the permanent home of the Mkrtich Khandamiryan State Theater. The building designed for theatrical performances and other events, dressing rooms, administrative offices, and a storage room. The main building of the center, which was reconstructed in 2012 with the financial support of the Hayastan Foundation Toronto affiliate, is home to a youth choir; classrooms for painting, ballet, instrumental folk music, and embroidery; and a puppet theater named after Canadian-Armenian filmmaker Atom Egoyan.
Following the opening ceremony, the delegation will visit the Harutyunyan family, in the village of Krasni (Askeran Region). The Harutyunyans are one of the beneficiary families of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s latest housing program, through which private homes are built and donated to low-income Artsakh families with five or more children. Since the launch of the program three years ago, 16 families have been provided with brand-new homes, and currently 15 more homes are under construction. All of these houses are distinguished by the fact that they come fully furnished and feature all necessary home appliances.