Arshaluys Gasparyan, 37, is determined to make a home for her three children, no matter how many challenges she’ll have to overcome. Her kids – Yuri, 12, Yulianna, 9, and Marianna, 4 – are her lifetime motivators and supporters.

Arshaluys was born in the village of Chanakhchi, in the Askeran region, of Artsakh. She was 20 years old when she met David from the Ningi village and they discovered a “spark” between the two of them. After the first thrilling months of their courtship, David and Arshaluys got married, with a dream to build their own house and have many children.

However, after 16 years of a harmonious marriage, their hopes were shattered last year by the dreadful news of the Four Day War in Artsakh, where David worked as a driver for the Chief of the Artsakh Armed Forces Headquarters.

With sorrow in her eyes, Arshaluys recollects the bad premonition she had had the day before David was killed. “When the war erupted, David and his supervisor were on the military posts to check out the situation on the border. The shooting escalated near Mataghis [village] and David armed himself with weapons to head to the trenches of the Azeri soldiers,” remarks Arshaluys. She pauses for a second, and then continues, “This was his last battle. He fell like a hero. David was 37 then.”

After the Four Day War of April 2016, FAR launched a project to support the families of the fallen soldiers and to alleviate their grief. That was when Arshaluys’s three children became beneficiaries of FAR’s Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP). Launched 17 years ago, CASP aims to provide financial assistance to children from underprivileged and single-parent homes until they turn 18. “I am very touched that our compatriots living in the U.S. treat us so kindly as to somehow eliminate our sorrow,” shares Arshaluys.

Yuri, Yulianna, and Marianna do well at school and support their mom at home. The family currently rents an apartment in Stepanakert that costs 80,000 AMD ($165 USD) per month.
Arshaluys is a contracted telegraphist for the Artsakh army with a monthly salary of 100,000 AMD ($200 USD). The family also receives a monthly welfare allowance, as well as a military allowance for widows and dependent children, totaling 350.000 AMD ($720 USD).

Despite all of her difficulties, Arshaluys never complains and has brought up her children to have a similar forward-looking attitude. “We don’t have anyone to help us,” she says. “Yuri and Yulianna are my right hand. They help me in the household and ease my burden. I work for the wellbeing of my family and, unfortunately, I see my kids only in the evenings.”

The siblings are determined to one day realize their parents’ dream of building their very own house. Arshaluys, in turn, is sure that no matter what life brings their way, her children will always honor their father’s memory.

The Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP) is a FAR project sponsored by the Women’s Guild Central Council of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern).