The Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, Very Reverend Fr. Daniel Findikyan, this week spent a day of his trip to Armenia visiting FAR, where he made several visits to our project sites.

He toured the newly-renovated classrooms at the Parakar School for Children with Disabilities’ vocational training center where students can now fully engage in training in metalwork, carpentry and cosmetology, among other trades. The Very Reverend Fr. Daniel Findikyan even received a lesson in how to prepare a good cabbage salad from 17-year-old culinary student Ashot Petrosyan.

Later, the Primate welcomed soup kitchen beneficiaries in Byureghavan before leading them in the Lord’s Prayer and joining them for lunch. He blessed four-year-old Vardges Ghavalyan who struggles with a speech impediment as his mother Anna and grandmother Haykush stood by. The family has relied on the soup kitchen for their main meal of the day since 2015.

At the FAR Children’s Center, the Very Reverend Fr. Daniel Findikyan was welcomed by Jirair Janer, 13, who fled Syria with his mother, his sister Sarin, 16, and his brother Jacob, 17, two years ago. Eight months ago, they lost their mother to cancer. The Center was the only place they could go and it has become their temporary home where they receive psychological support, art therapy and are able to socialize with other children.

The Primate toured the Center with Jirair where he learned more about the Center’s mission, its services, and about the children who currently reside there.

“I have heard a lot about the FAR Children’s Center. I have also seen the photos, but now when I see these little children with my own eyes, when I talk to Mr. Jirair, this is very different and means a lot to me. You’re doing an incredible job and I highly appreciate that. I pray for you and for the children. Let our Lord help you to expend your efforts, and enhance your activity throughout Armenia, so that more and more children can benefit from you,” he said.