While the holidays are over and the new year is in full swing, we at FAR would still love to share some of the highlights of our Christmas celebrations, particularly those tied to our Education Program. Several parties held at Nubarashen, Parakar and Gavar special schools were made possible by some very generous donors. FAR implements numerous programs for the children with mental and physical disabilities who attend these schools.

Through generous donations from the Haratunian Family of New York, 77 children from Nubarashen Special School in Yerevan, were treated to an early Christmas celebration with singing and dancing, a generous meal, and goodie bags.

With support from the dedicated New York Friends of Gavar Special School group, children at Gavar in Gegharkunik Province, were able to dress as fairy tale heroes and present on different Christmas celebrations held around the world. Upon arrival of Dzmer Pap (Santa Claus), the kids and the school staff started singing and dancing to Christmas songs.

The celebration at Parakar Special School in Armavir Province, made possible thanks to the generosity of the Batmasian Family of Florida, started with a Christmas lunch, followed by a visit from Dzmer Pap and Dzyunanush, the Snow Maiden. Then children from Nork Youth Center entertained Parakar students with their own acrobatics show.

A number of FAR scholarship students and dance groups also volunteered to help lead Christmas activities for the children at all three schools.

“It was very touching to see the kids performing fairy tales in their beautiful Christmas costumes. The festive mood prevailed at the schools, with their teachers baking a special gata cookie and putting a cherry stone inside, which symbolizes happiness to the person who finds it,” said FAR Education Programs Director Eduard Karapetyan. “Their day was filled with laughter, happiness and many positive emotions. Their joy and smiles were proof that they had a great time.”

Each of the celebrations closed with a distribution Christmas gifts and sweets. To see more, take a look at the slideshow below.