A few months ago when Ani Papyan, a social worker at FAR’s Berd office, was contacted via Facebook by Russian-Armenian youth eager to learn more about her job and how she supports people, she couldn’t have imagined the contact leading to much more than the exchange of a few messages.

But Ani’s enthusiasm for her work, and her tales of the progress made by the families with whom she serves through FAR’s Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program (BCPP) initiative proved infectious. After hearing her stories, the young Armenians from Moscow’s Armenian Youth Association also wanted to help vulnerable families living in the border villages of Tavush Province.

“I discussed the idea with FAR’s BCPP staff,” said Ani. “We went through our list of families we support through the program’s social services component and selected those who are most vulnerable. I then shared the information about them with my new virtual friends and they gathered the money to support some of these families to overcome some of their specific difficulties.”

Thanks to the collaboration, six families from Nerkin Karmiraghbyur, Chinari, Movses and Paravaqar villages received assistance. “Lack of food was the highest priority for almost all of the families,” Ani said. “We brought meat, dairy products, vegetables, flour, oil, sugar, sweets and candy to them. We also brought medicine to one family in Chinari since they are unable to buy it on regular basis for their 3-year-old boy Eric who has spinal issues. Finally, we supported another family in Movses Village by buying feed for their cow.”

Money also enabled two of the families to construct a roof for their houses and install gas heat in their homes.

“I am deeply grateful to all of these supporters,” said Ani. “This partnership is an excellent example of how we at FAR‘s Berd Office invest our time and resources, and how a group of young diasporan Armenians did one of the most important things they could ever choose to do. This inspires me to strive for even more for these families.”