It was the first-time benefactor Knarig Meneshian had visited the FAR Children’s Center in Yerevan. As she toured the premises, she saw one boy reading a book, another one playing, and a third child making a pizza. It delighted her to see these children engaged in such different activities.

“It seemed that they were home again. Before coming here, they were broken,” she said. “What I saw outside in the garden was their smiles while they played. When you see that your support has helped them to recover from crisis and has changed their lives, you want to do more.”

Ms. Meneshian was part of a group of guests comprised of FAR donors and friends led by FAR Board Member Oscar Tatosian, who toured the Center and visited all of its spaces that contribute to children’s growth and behavioral progress—the art and music therapy spaces, the crafts workshop, the canteen, and the big garden with its open-air playground.

During the visit, FAR Children’s Center Executive Director Dr. Mira Antonyan introduced the group to the Center’s mission and its projects, as well as the staff who have been advocating for changes in children’s rights and protection in Armenia for more than 10 years. “Such visits are important for children, our staff, and our supporters all at the same time,” said Mira. “Children get the chance to meet people who help them, see that they are ordinary people, and realize that they might have the chance to help others, too, when they grow up. Staff feel responsible for showing their work while also feeling appreciated when they are thanked by the donors. And the donors/supporters feel important and helpful when they see that they helped to save a life or improve a family situation. The only challenging thing is the length of these meetings, which is never enough for sharing what we do every day.”

The FAR Children’s Center is a full-service facility and the only institution in Armenia where abused, abandoned, and neglected children can access shelter, medical care, psychological counseling and legal assistance.

The FAR Children’s Center is sponsored by the Edward and Helen Mardigian Foundation, the Friends of the FAR Children’s Center (U.S.), and the Children’s Center Circle of Friends (Armenia).