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Social Services Program

This is where FAR’s work began more than 30 years ago. When an earthquake devastated the country, those who eventually became the founders of this organization immediately sprang into action to help, trying to meet the emergency needs of those in dire circumstances. Three decades later, FAR continues to assist the most vulnerable populations of Armenia.

Social Services Program
HIGHLIGHTED BENEFICIARIES:

Siranush & Arayik

Sixty-two-year-old Siranush Mardanyan starts her day with a hot cup of coffee on the balcony of her home. Her eyes roam over the dilapidated areas of the house and unfinished reconstruction, which serve as a constant reminder of the death of her husband three years ago, and the worsening condition of her son Arayik, 38, who lives with a disability. 

 

Siranush and Arayik were accepted into FAR’s Soup Kitchen Program in 2014, which provides them with a balanced, nutritious meal once a day, five days per week. The Berd Soup Kitchen is not far from their house and it provides crucial food support for around 120 people from low-income families, including seniors living alone and people with disabilities. 

 

“We make coffee on this stove using cardboard for the fire. Unfortunately, there is no gas and no money to install the pipes so we have to pick up firewood from here and there to heat the house in winter. The soup kitchen has become our means of living. We usually have our food in the afternoon and wait for the next day, around 1:00 pm, to go to the soup kitchen. We have to fend for ourselves over the weekends. We have a small farm and no accommodations to water plants, so I can’t grow many crops, mostly just some bean plants,” said Siranush who used to earn a living by working in a bus station café as a cleaner for many years. She became unemployed 10 years ago due to salary cuts. 

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Arayik suffered from an intestinal disease during childhood and he then started to experience developmental disabilities. Siranush could not afford his treatment and has been unable to receive state benefits to cover the medications he needs. Nevertheless, Siranush says that he is physically very strong and often helps her with chopping firewood and working the soil.

 

In 2017, Siranush lost her husband Hrachik to a heart attack. “He was the only feeding hand of our family. Hrachik always wanted to have a house, so we sold our apartment and moved into this house. But he wasn’t able to renovate it and now it’s falling apart. I have to use buckets on the sides of our house to collect rain water,” she said.

 

Due to the pandemic, Siranush currently takes their food home from the soup kitchen; she proudly states that she is fond of soups. “I don't have teeth, so I love soups, but Arayik likes everything,” she said noting that her main focus now is to help Arayik receive state benefits so that they can have a reliable monthly income.

Soup Kitchens

FAR’s five soup kitchens in Yerevan, Berd, the Yeghsapet Jambazian-Mangoyan and Yeghsapet Ambarian-Ouzounian soup kitchens in Nor Hajn and Byureghavan, and the soup kitchen at the Gyumri Atinizian Senior Center continued their vital service of food provision to 800 people who would most likely otherwise go hungry. 

 

Prior to lockdown requirements being removed meals were still packaged for takeaway and, for the most vulnerable and elderly, delivered to their doors. Those who didn’t have a safe place to stay were allowed to stay in eat while practicing social distancing.

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Vanadzor Old Age Home (VOAH)

The Kevork and Sirvart Karamanuk Vanadzor Old Age Home (VOAH) did an extraordinary job of protecting its 55 elderly residents during 2021, giving them a home and community that is safe and supportive.

 

Staff also focused on keeping residents emotionally and psychologically reassured, prioritizing their mental health as well in what is considered a true community for low-income seniors in need.

SOCIAL SERVICES PROGRAM

By the Numbers

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800

low-income and elderly received hot and nutritious meals five days a week (Soup Kitchens)

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55

low-income and vulnerable elderly supported through safe and stable living community. (VOAH)

SOCIAL SERVICES PROGRAM

Top Donors

Mardigian Foundation

Artin Kalpakian(Argentina)
Kevork & Sirvart Karamanuk Foundation
Levon & Selma Margosian Fund
Nazarian Family Foundation, Inc. 
SJS Charitable Trust
Ararat & Sonya Hacet Foundation
Dadourian Foundation

David & Myrna Onanian

Gloria Kharibian
Kevork Atinizian
Michael Ohanian
Nishan & Margarit Atinizian Family Foundation
Peter Onainan
Susan Atamian
The Pappas Giving Fund