Categories ArchivesFAR Children's Center

[Child Protection]: FAR Children’s Center to Continue Armenia’s Foster Care Program image

Currently, there are about 3,500 children who inhabit Armenia's orphanages and attend its special schools.* The roots of this situation stem from Armenia's weak system of social protections, the insufficient number of community-based services that are available, and the lack of control mechanisms. But there is a great push to overhaul this system and the FAR Children’s Center is a part of it.

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[FAR’s Children’s Center]: At the FAR Children’s Center, 10-Year-Old Aram Learned He Loved to Sing image

Narine Vardanyan said goodbye to Aram Harutyunyan, and once he left the FAR Children's Center's main building tears filled her eyes. "I became so attached to him, that little sweet boy," said Narine, a social worker at the Center, which is a full-service care facility that gives shelter and psychosocial support to Armenia's most vulnerable children.

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[FAR Children’s Center]: Becoming a Family image

Twenty-year-old Artur Avagyan is a long-time member of the FAR Children’s Center “family.” A few months ago when he finished his tour and was released from the army, the first thing he did was return to the Center. "When I left the Children's Center, I was 18. That was an important moment for me. And it is reassuring for me to know that there are people who can back me up and who really care for me. So, when you realize you are not alone you want to fulfil your dreams, not only for yourself but for them as well. When there are people who wait for news from you and who rejoice in your achievements, you feel more obliged. I feel very proud that I managed to meet the expectations of the people who are important to me," said Artur.

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[Child Protection]: For One Young Girl, Children’s Center is Home Away from Home image

Bright and shining, even sunny, Svetlana (or Sveta, as she is affectionately known to most) is a joy of the FAR’s Children’s Center. This 11-year-old is the only child of a single mother, 35-year-old Gayane Paramazyan. Originally from the Sisian Region, Gayane moved to Yerevan more than 10 years ago. Today, she works as launderer at Yerevan’s Military Hospital and lives in an abandoned train car located in an old industrial park in a far district of Yerevan. Conditions of the train car are as limited as one could possibly imagine with no bathroom or proper kitchen, just some space for two beds. Gayane’s $120 monthly salary isn’t enough for her to afford to rent a better place, so she leans on Center until she can find a solution.

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[FAR Children’s Center]: Like Home image

Four-year old Jivan found a shelter at the FAR Children’s Center one year ago. His mother, Shoghakat used to beg in the streets with Jivan until the Yerevan police intervened. (Begging with children is prohibited in the city.) They took Jivan to the Center immediately. The first days there were very stressful for Jivan because his mother would often visit. She, along with some other people who would introduce themselves as Jivan’s relatives, would show up to argue with him, trying to persuade him to come back to them. The boy didn’t show any emotional response to any of them, however. And while Shoghakat would try to show Jivan affection by kissing and hugging him during her visits, it all ...

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[Children’s Center]: Playing to the Dream image

At the age of 15, Alen is the youngest member of the Pyunik Soccer Club, through which he is forging a very important path. When Alen first came to the FAR Children’s Center at the age of eight, he was difficult to reach. Often isolated and seemingly living in his own world, he was intolerant of most others. Yet, the Center`s staff and psychologists knew that despite his internal conflicts, deep down Alen had the same dreams and goals of any kid his age—to be accepted, to feel as if he belonged, to engage in activities that he loves. Alen and his sister Suzanna have been under the Center`s care since 2009, ever since their mother began to have serious ...

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[FAR Child Protection]: FAR Commemorates International Children’s Day Around Armenia standard

Celebrations in honor of International Children’s Day started at the FAR Children’s Center where the Ayo! team joined Center staff and the Circle of Friends supporters group for a chalk drawing competition. Afterwards the kids sang and danced, opened presents and ate ice cream and cake. At the end of the day kids participated in group fairytale therapy led by visiting child psychologist Rajni Avagyan, who used storytelling in an interactive way that enabled the children to touch upon the struggles they are facing and also learning about ways to cope. In Tavush, where FAR implements the Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program (BCPP), festivities were also in full swing. Organized by the Berd municipality, various NGOs and foundations, kids ...

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[FAR Children’s Center]: Generous Gift from YPT Alumni to Improve the FAR Children’s Center standard

July 3rd turned into a joyful day for the more than 30 kids of the FAR Children’s Center when Young Professionals Trip alumni came by for a visit. All were visiting Armenia and they decided to once again observe FAR’s projects firsthand. Center staff toured their special guests around the facility, who then spent several hours playing with the kids. The group brought balls, stuffed animals, stickers, board games and painting materials with them, which made the kids even happier to have visitors. “Everyone was thrilled with the chance to see FAR’s work first hand!” said Martha Mensoian, the YPT alumnus who initiated the trip to the Children’s Center, following the visit. In fact, the group was so impressed that ...

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