Ayo! started in 2013 to help Armenians take positive change for their country into their own hands. This crowdfunding platform is a bridge between Armenians who want to contribute through locally-designed and initiated development projects.
Projects aim to surmount challenges in any number of sectors—from child protection to education to livelihoods. In less than a decade, Ayo! has raised more than $630,000 to fund 56 myriad projects that have directly touched the lives of more than 100,000 beneficiaries in Armenia.
Ever since he stepped on a mine in 1999, Gevorg has worn a prosthetic leg. It hasn’t slowed him down however. He’s a teacher and father of three who recently started Gyumri’s first wheelchair basketball team.
A few years ago, Gevorg and his family began to cultivate green onions on their property. While their harvest was good, their profit was bad because the expenses of heating and lighting consumed nearly all of their income.
After Ayo! granted him funds through its From Frontlines to Storefronts project to pay for some of his materials like solar panels and UV lights, Gevorg and his family can now provide more green onions at a lower cost, which has enabled them to make a profit for the very first time.
In addition, Gevorg was so moved by Ayo!’s Safe Ride campaign, which provided a method of transport to children with special needs in need of therapy, that he donated a notable amount to the project.
AYO!'s Accomplishments in 2021
In 2021, Ayo! ran 18 diverse campaigns and collectively raised $95,691, which ultimately impacted 5,872 beneficiaries in every region of Armenia.
Ayo! continued to expand its donor base. It received 831 donations from 390 different donors, 187 of whom gave for the first-time in 2021.
We Are Artsakh, which was launched following the war in 2020, closed in April 2021 after nearly $95,000 was generated to help 4,000 individuals who were displaced from Artsakh. As part of the campaign, Ayo! partnered with SOS Children’s Village to distribute more than 800 food packages (each with a 1-month supply of food) and hygiene kits to individuals and families in need.
In addition, 660 electric heaters were distributed to those sheltering in some of the coldest regions of Armenia. Also, 2,700 individual winter bedding items, including blankets, pillows, sheets, pillowcases, were distributed to families. Separately, an additional 1,110 bedding sets were given out. Warm winter clothes were also given to 30 children from Berdzor and Stepanakert orphanages.
In partnership with the Norman K. Miller Charitable Trust, the project also addressed long-term healthcare needs of 140 children from Artsakh with severe asthma through the provision of a one-year supply of asthma medication, a total cost of $30,902. Having lost their sources of income due to the war, their parents were no longer able to afford such necessities for their children.
The Stronger Every Day campaign increased capacity to effectively treat wounded soldiers. Ayo! partnered with the Caritas Aregak Foundation in Shirak Province to increase the region’s capacity to effectively treat wounded soldiers. The foundation had the facility and the expertise to provide socio-rehabilitative care to wounded servicemen, but lacked the equipment needed to do so. In 35 days, the project raised $8,094, nearly double the amount of its original goal. With the added support, Caritas Aregak was able to purchase important pieces of equipment to provide professional physical rehabilitation services and the support of a social worker to 40 wounded veterans over the course of a year.
Frontlines to Storefronts helped Artsakh war veterans across the country to rebuild their lives. Through a joint effort between the Aznavour Foundation and the Support to Wounded Soldiers NGO, Ayo! raised a total of $30,700 for veterans building small businesses.
Seven different veterans were awarded up to $5,000 in seed funding to build their small businesses in tourism & hospitality, metalwork, construction, onion farming, and beekeeping.
Safe Ride raised $16,225 which enabled the purchase of an all-terrain SUV van to help children with special needs access much-needed therapy at the Voskeporik Development Center in Gegharkunik Province. Voskeporik provides free therapy to 450 children in 17 surrounding villages, but many struggled to access therapy due to transportation issues.
Finally, the Christmas Wish List campaign took a new approach to holiday giving, ultimately raising nearly $22,000 for 14 small-budget projects with significant impact, one at a time, within five weeks. Projects collectively impacted more than 1,000—from small children to youth with special needs to seniors.
Individual Christmas Wish List Campaigns included:
The purchase of a new oven for FAR’s Abgarian-Magotan Soup Kitchen in Byureghavan, which serves 173 people;
a library of developmental games for children with special needs at Sevan Children’s Rehabilitation Center;
furniture for brand-new teen youth center in Syunik Province;
the creation of a shared community garden for children and isolated elderly;
gift boxes of locally-designed, eco-friendly toys for 500 children in four under-resourced daycares;
warm clothes for the residents of VOAH;
festive celebration for kids and youth with special needs;
Christmas gifts for 150 sick children who had to spend their New Year’s Eve in the hospital, and gifts for 251 displaced children and those who lost their fathers during the 44-day war;
necessary household items for families displaced from Artsakh; and
a crib, mattresses, comforters, and linens for the Noyemzars, a family of eight who relocated to Sisian in Armenia’s Syunik Region following the Artsakh War.
By the Numbers
was generated to help 4,000 individuals who were displaced from Artsakh (We are Artsakh)
raised to increase capacity of the Caritas Aregak Foundation to effectively treat wounded soldiers.
raised for veterans building small businesses (From Frontlines to Storefronts)
raised for the purchase of an SUV van to help children with special needs access much-needed therapy (Safe Ride)
raised for 14 small-budget projects for Christmas Wishlist.