Last fall, FAR started a project with the aim of supporting Syrian-Armenians who have found a new home in Armenia as the conflict still rages in their native country. Two hundred and fifty Syrian-Armenian families received humanitarian aid, including emergency packages of pillows, mattresses, bedding, towels, kitchenware, and basic furniture for those living in temporary dormitories. Four distributions were carried out during November and December.

Thanks to the generous donation of nearly $33,000 raised through the Sunday School Lenten Drive of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, this became a gift of hope for many Syrian-Armenians who faced financial and social challenges after relocating, as they lost almost everything back in Syria.

It’s been three years since 22-year-old twins Jan and Harout Meliksetyan came to Armenia. They are slated for careers in security and apart from their studies, they work to make a living for their family.

“We got a call yesterday telling us to come and pick up the heavy packages together. We were happy,” said Jan with a slight smile as he carried the packages with his brother.
Among FAR’s many programs, initiatives focusing on Syrian-Armenians serve a special purpose.

“Through our programs, we focus on not only supporting families who have fled the conflict in Syria, but we also aim to give schoolchildren and students access to education. These particular relief supplies were provided to the most vulnerable and largest families,” said FAR Armenia Country Director Bagrat Sargsyan. The list of the families deemed most vulnerable was compiled in cooperation with the local NGO Center for Coordination of Syrian-Armenian Issues, which is responsible for registering all Syrian families who relocate to Armenia.

In addition, during the 2017-2018 academic year, FAR provided scholarships to 32 new Syrian-Armenian students studying at Armenian universities through our Syrian-Armenian Assistance Program. Within the same program, FAR also operates tutoring groups in math, natural science, and physics for 40 Syrian-Armenian students. These initiatives are made possible thanks to the generosity of the US-based SJS Foundation.

FAR also helps Syrian-Armenian entrepreneurs to boost their businesses in Armenia through the Small Business Assistance Program (SBA), made possible by the generous support of Mr. Howard Atesian of Michigan.