On April 18, FAR’s fundraising platform Ayo! together with the Gyumri Information Technology Center (GTech) organized an Easter event with a goal to spread joy and happiness among the elders attending FAR’s Gyumri Soup Kitchen and to raise awareness on the recently launched EyeCare Project.

More than 50 elders enjoyed the Easter concert featuring the young students of the Gyumri Octet Music School – with a varied repertoire from Armenian classical music and songs to Armenian folk dances.

Arman and Vardanush have been attending the music school for more than two years. Arman, 14, plays the santur: “I have chosen my favorite song – “Anurjner” (Dreams) by our Gyumri composer Khachatur Avetisyan and with my performance, I want to have a positive impact on the life of the elderly.”

Vardanush’s repertoire consisted of folk songs: “I have chosen folk songs from Sayat-Nova and Ashugh Ashot,” – said the 13-year-old student, adding that she wanted to bring a sense of peace and joy to the soup kitchen beneficiaries.

In his opening speech, Harutyun Asatryan – principal of the Gyumri Octet Music School – highlighted the importance of the concert aimed at combining the EyeCare project and the Easter celebration. “FAR has been providing the Gyumri elders with daily nutritious food more than 15 years. Today, we want to nourish the elders’ spirits and I am happy to see the sparkles in their eyes,” – said Harutyun Asatryan.

In the heat of the concert, the Gyumri elders joined the dances and rocked the stage of the music school. At the close of the event, Octet students delivered special Easter sandwiches made with love by the Gyumri Soup Kitchen staff. The event ended up with delivering special Easter sandwiches to the elders. The event was live-streamed for those beneficiaries of the Gyumri Soup Kitchen who were unable to make the trip to Octet – allowing them to enjoy the event remotely.

The EyeCare project was launched in late March. With joint efforts and resources, Ayo! and the Armenian EyeCare Project (AECP) have already coordinated and completed vision exams for more than 140 beneficiaries who attend FAR Soup kitchens in Yerevan, Berd, Nor Hajn, and Byureghavan. The next stop will be Gyumri in autumn. The beneficiaries will be provided with free eyeglasses, if deemed necessary by the vision exams.

We are happy to announce that the project has reached its $2,600 campaign goal and now, we have got to the implementation part.