Daniel, Alina, Vahe, Zaven, Gevorg, Arthur… these are just six of the 150 children aged 3-18 years old who have been attending Hrazdan Day Care Center for Disabled Children. Their everyday challenges are different, but they are united by their goals – “to become strong and be fully integrated into society,” in the words of young Arthur.

The Center’s professional teachers, doctors, psychologists and social workers have made a positive impact on the lives of these children through various activities, such as cognitive games, physical education, art therapy, and dance therapy.

This winter, the Center lost its funding and was forced to cease operations due to lack of financial resources. The children were left hopeless since they had not only improved physical, social, and emotional skills, but they had also made friends with neighboring children in Hrazdan and the surrounding communities.

When FAR’s fundraising platform Ayo! learned of the funding cuts, it stepped up to the plate with a commitment to raise the needed funds by mid-April in its “Bring Hope to Hrazdan” Emergency project. On March 20 Ayo! joined the Hrazdan Day Care Center to organize an event aimed at spending a day with children, raising public awareness of the center, and raising funds to ensure the continuity of its operations.

During the event, children and their guests – relatives and supporters – were entertained by the performances of the “Miraculous Animals” puppet show, the “Zodiac” song and dance ensemble, and an auction of art created by the Center’s children.

“For three whole months, children were locked behind closed doors. We needed financial aid for the center to operate all year round, and with this in mind, we applied to local and international governmental and non-governmental organizations. However, it was only Fund for Armenian Relief that lent a hand. For the past two months, FAR has provided us with financial support,” said the Center Director Kamo Arakelyan.

So far, Ayo! has collected $7,000 of the $28,304 campaign goal. Although FAR has covered the costs for three months the center still needs support all year round.

Through the persistent work of the specialists, 58% of the children who have attended the Center are currently enrolled in local schools, many of them have overcome speech impediments and are on their way to become an integral part of society.

We are deeply grateful to everyone who has donated and spread the word about this important campaign. All 150 children want to continue to visit the center and continue their growth, and for that we need your help. Together we can say Ayo! to Hope for Hrazdan!