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.

And Artur should be proud of himself. He proved to be a good soldier, has been awarded by the management unit, and recognized and thanked for his decent behavior and loyal and conscientious service. The Children’s Center even received a letter of gratitude from his army commanders last year.

Artur’s mother abandoned him when he was a baby and he was sent to an orphanage. With the support of the FAR Children’s Center, he was eventually put into the care of a loving foster family who looked after him for many years. When he turned 18, before he left to fulfill his military service, he came to stay at the Center. While filling out the formal paperwork Arthur indicated his “home” as the FAR Children’s Center, which is why the letter was mailed to the Center — the place he considers to be his true home.

Children’s Center Deputy Director Ramona Ktakyane only smiles when she speaks about Artur, pointing to his strong character and exemplary behavior. “It was so touching when we received that letter. It is the best reward to realize that the Center became a family for a child who is already a young man. We are all so excited. It is the greatest appreciation.”

Artur is now back to his studies at Terlemezyan State College of Fine Arts. He studies painting and is very talented. He also works at Children’s Center twice a week as a security guard and teaches painting to the kids. “I express my gratitude by what I do, by my actions,” said Artur. “I would like to say thank you every second, especially to all the staff of the Center.”