Categories ArchivesFAR Children's Center

[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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[FAR Children’s Center]: A Gift of Salvation and Transformation standard

“I could hardly understand what Arusyak was saying over the phone, she was so excited,” said FAR Children’s Center Social Worker Rima Harutyunyan after receiving an unexpected call. “The only things I could make out were words like ‘cow,’ ‘baby’ and ‘birth.’” Arusyak Gabrielyan had called Rima from her home in Artavaz Village, located in the mountains of Armenia’s Kotayq region. Many Armenian families from Azerbaijan fled to Artavaz during the Nagorno Karabakh War. Despite its strong community, Artavaz is a place with extremely limited resources and few job opportunities. Arusyak’s family of four includes her husband Gagik and their two children Ruzanna, 15, and Dianna, 13. Before the Center’s social workers began to work with the family they could ...

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[Ayo!] Ayo!’s Two-Week Photo Sale to Support Some of Armenia’s Most Vulnerable standard

Ayo! has just launched a two-week photo sale, making it easy for you to support some of Armenia’s most vulnerable populations through the power of art. A selection of 12 beautiful photos taken by at-risk kids from FAR Children’s Center, are now available for purchase until June 30th. Changing Landscapes has a unique focus of using art, specifically nature photography, as a restorative and healing tool for different age groups and environments. Through this project, the Center’s kids will have the chance to learn and experiment with photography during chaperoned day trips to local parks and nature sites, ultimately enabling them to benefit from creative expression. Their best photos will be gifted to Armenian hospitals where they will be displayed, ...

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[Child Protection]: A Birthday Party with a Mission standard

Four-year-old Arayik never waits for his turn to speak. He doesn’t hesitate to introduce himself to the guests of the FAR Children’s Center, which is where he currently lives because his own family is too unstable. “Do you know who I am?” he always asks newcomers in a sweet, excited voice. “I am Arayik!” It was with this same sweet voice that Arayik expressed his congratulations to Liana during her 10th birthday party at the Center. Liana lives in Yerevan with her two sisters and her mother and father, all of whom were determined to make her birthday party not only a happy one but also one with a greater meaning. A stable and comfortable family, they wanted to celebrate ...

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[FAR Children’s Center]: Supporters of Children's Center Renovations Witness Thriving Art Therapy Program standard

When Kenar and Armen Haratunian of Manhasset, New York, visited the FAR Children’s Center in Yerevan last week they brought with them bags of games and supplies for craft and art projects. “We loved how bright and uplifting the art therapy rooms were, and it was great to see them full of smiling kids and busy activity. We also loved seeing them enthusiastically opening and using the crafts we brought with us. We went back a few times and we loved having more time to play with them,” Armen said. Kenar, 13, and Armen, 15, have a personal connection to the Center. Together with their parents Stephen and Arda, they renovated the Center’s three art therapy rooms last year in ...

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