A cozy, well-kept house not too far from the center of Etchmiadzin stands out in the side panorama of the street. The abode is Mer Doon NGO’s Residence for Young Women. “Mer Doon” is translated as “Our Home,” which reflects the mission of the organization for its beneficiaries.

Well-furnished with a warmly-colored interior, the residence currently harbors eight young ladies who are either orphans or come from single-parent households. The girls live here and attend universities in Etchmiadzin. As part of the versatile education provided by Mer Doon, they learn needlework and carpet embroidery. Occasionally, their souvenir products are featured in exhibits and put up for sale.

Mer Doon is fully equipped to meet the residents’ needs. This center is privileged to receive support from devoted individuals, public figures, and celebrities in the most varied forms – from bread supply to charity concerts.

Ms. Mariam Kirakosyan, Deputy Director of the NGO, has volumes to tell about the organization. She prefers to describe its mission and activities by going over numerous and varied certificates. One such certificate attests to the exclusive attention received from Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2008 the then-Governor of California sent a special note of gratitude to the center appraising its humanitarian mission.

The scope of charity that is channelled towards ensuring a better future for the vulnerable young women helps eliminate their feelings of being socially deprived in any way. Mer Doon’s inspiring efforts often result in happy endings: many of the former residents are presently married and have children.

The process of recreating a family and normalcy at Mer Doon and beyond is very much like the neat embroidery or needlework that has quickly become the hobby of many of the young residents. FAR’s significant assistance in their professional education, however, completes the “needlework” of the lifelines of these young ladies.

Each year, FAR’s Gulamerian Scholarship Program sponsors the university studies of selected Mer Doon beneficiaries. Four of the six young women currently enrolled in the program are Mer Doon residents.

Yesterday, FAR staff members paid them a visit in Etchmiadzin to register the progress of Gulamerian Scholarship benefactors and to renew their contracts. Thankful and smiling wholeheartedly, the girls bid them farewell and enthusiastically anticipate their return.