Kajaran is a small town located near a huge copper and molybdenum plant, which first opened during the Soviet period. Today, it’s the source of employment for almost all residents of this town, including Sona Ishkhanyan. Born in 1973, Sona was 21 years old when she married Boris Tsatryan and moved to Tashtun, near Meghri in the Syunik region. Five years later they had their first child Davit, who they named after the Armenian national hero Davit of Sasun.

Like the epic hero, Davit was a very handsome baby. He was only 28 days old when his father died from blood cancer and life for his family took an unexpected turn. Without her husband, it was very hard for Sona to stay alone and raise her only child. She decided to return to Kajaran along with Davit to live in her brother’s apartment. She soon found work in the town’s copper and molybdenum plant as a computer operator.

Davit, now 12 years old, is in the eighth grade at Kajaran’s #2 Secondary School. He studies hard and is well liked by his classmates. Twice a week he attends karate classes and plays sports. Unlike his peers, who wish to become businessmen or singers, Davit dreams of becoming an agriculturist and running a cattle breeding farm.

Sona learned about the Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP)  from a friend. She applied last year and in October of 2011 received financial support from an anonymous benefactor for the first time. Sona has decided to use the stipend for her son’s private Armenian language and literature lessons. She has also said that Davit has some health problems, which will need medical treatment.

“I wish there were such benefactors for everyone. There are so many talented children who are in need of assistance,” Sona said as we departed.

  Davit studies with his mother’s encouragement.

Davit at training with his motherDavit diligently prepares his homework.

Davit prepares homeworkKarate classes are one of Davit’s favorite after school activities.

Davit during trainingCredit: Levon Lachikyan