FAR’s Education Program takes a holistic approach by providing educational opportunity to children and youth, strengthening the capacity of educators, enhancing accessibility to educational opportunity, and through the provision of educational resources.
FAR contributes to making decent education more equitable for all in Armenia, which has the potential to be life-changing and transformative on both the individual and collective levels.
Gari Akhoyan, 36, started his accounting company to give young people an opportunity to change their lives, just as Anush Mathevosian did for him. The scholarship in her name enabled Gari to study accounting and finance at the Armenian State University of Economics back in 2001.
The founder and now Director of DG Consulting, Gari currently employs 50 people—all of whom live in Armenia. Among them are students and new graduates. DG Consulting provides accounting and financing services to 150 entities, including international organizations, embassies, consulates, and construction companies, among others.
“I started the business with my friend, Davit, in 2012. It was certainly a challenge but it helped me to overcome difficulties with patience because I saw the bigger picture. Now, I advise my colleagues and employees to always be persistent,” said Gari, who in addition to DG Consulting also owns a car serving center and a brokerage firm. Combined, those businesses employ 16 people.
Gari and his family didn't have the resources to pay for university (about 350,000 AMD or 675 USD per year at the time) and loans were not generally given for studies. If not for FAR’s scholarship, Gari said he would have most likely had to forgo a university education.
“I would have gone straight into the army and I'm not sure as to whether I would have actually continued my education afterwards,” he said.
Gari was 24 when he started working in an accounting company. A year and a half later he founded his own. “I try to encourage my employees to take risks, get out of their comfort zone and do their best. I try to give them a chance to advance in their careers and expand their knowledge and skills by paying relevantly high salaries,” he said. It’s something he learned from Anush Mathevosian.
With school infrastructure and resources a crucial part of education, FAR continued its work to improve schools throughout Armenia, primarily in rural areas with higher poverty levels.
FAR improved sanitation and hygiene facilities at 16 community high schools in Armenia’s Tavush, Kotayk, Aragatsotn, and Armavir regions. The initiative enabled 10,000 students and teachers to access clean bathrooms and potable water at school. Hygiene trainings were also given to teachers and students at 10 of the 16 schools.
Transformation of the Parakar Special Educational Complex continued during 2021. Located in the suburbs of Yerevan, the school supports nearly 200 students, many with special needs. Now in its fourth year, this five-year project is transforming this school from what was a dilapidated, decaying and hazardous building into an innovative and state-of-the-art education and vocational training center. This changes the very nature of working with children with disabilities, so that they can be provided with guidance, support, love, and care during a critical time of their growth and self-discovery.
Many parts of the school were renovated during 2021, including its dormitory and its showers, several bathrooms, its laundry facilities, and the school cafeteria. Eight new classrooms were added and the school’s auditorium was fully updated; it can now accommodate an audience of up to 200 people. At the same time, the changes give Parakar students special opportunities to study, acquire vocational training and life skills, and learn how to be independent adults when it's time for them to age out of institutional care.
Professional development of staff was a big focus at Parakar during 2021 and 30 teachers completed nine months of professional development training that was customized to the specific needs of the school and during which they focused on teaching methods for vocational training and life skills for children with special needs.
Together for Healthy Generations moved into its second year in 2020. The project aims to improve education infrastructure and to create better access to education and improved quality of life for children living along the Armenian-Azerbaijan border in the Berd and Ijevan regions of Armenia’s Tavush Province.
In 2021, renovations of school bathrooms brought clean hygiene facilities and potable water to six different schools in Tavush, ultimately impacting 1,600 children and 300 teachers.
The project also provided 329 first graders from 20 different schools with schoolbags and supplies to help deter school dropouts due to poverty.
The Yervant Terzian Armenian National Science and Education Fund (ANSEF) gives scholars an opportunity to start research, test their abilities, and push their projects from idea to implementation. ANSEF is part of our tradition to encourage research and innovation that is meant to push Armenia forward.
During 2021, ANSEF awarded grants to 28 research groups, a total of 84 individual scientists. Twelve out of the 28 group leaders were young researchers under the age of 35, and 17 of the leaders selected were women.
The $5,000 grants enable each group to advance in their work in areas as varied as biology, biotechnology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, agriculture, archeology, and history—all while being able to stay in their home country to do so.
Since ANSEF began 21 years ago, 540 scientific groups made up of about 2,000 scholars have received grants collectively totaling $2.7 million.
By the Numbers
students supported by scholarships during the 2021-22 academic year (FAR Scholarships & Gulamerian Scholarship Program)
students and teachers were able to access clean bathrooms and potable water thanks to renovations and refurbishments (School Rehabilitation)
children and 300 teachers have regular access to clean hygiene facilities and potable water. (Together for Healthy Generations)
scientists supported through ANSEF grants. (ANSEF)
Avanessians Family Foundation
Avedis & Arsho Baghsarian Fund
Avedis & Beatrice Movsesian
Constantinople Armenian Relief Society(C.A.R.S.)
Dennis & Linda Tarzian
Diane Piranian Charitable Fund
Dikran & Lynn Dadourian Barsamian Fund
Gregory & Meline Toufayan
Harold & Josephine Gulamerian Foundation
James & Marta Batmasian Family Foundation
Jerair Nishanian Foudation
Levon & Selma Margosian Fund
Robert Semonian Trust
SJS Charitable Trust
The Tovmas Fund