16-year-old Alla dreams of becoming a singer… but she has no hope that she’ll ever be able to make that dream come true, just like she wasn’t able to finish her 12 years of school so that she can enroll in Kajaran’s vocational school’s hairdressing courses.
She’s happy with what she has and tries to find something interesting in the choices that life has laid out for her. Today her choice is the IT department of that same vocational college. After studying there for four years, she can continue her education in a college, and then go on to a university, becoming a computer programmer, and, as her mother dreams for her, “to have some kind of a job.”
“To be accepted into the hairdressing department, she had to finish school, but the textbook costs got in the way,” says Alla’s mother Argela. “When I couldn’t afford the books, I, myself, would become very upset, so imagine how upset the child became. That’s why we decided that she should quit school.”
“It’s OK,” interrupts Alla, as pale as Charents’s ‘Girl like a Lampshade’ – with large, transparent black eyes. “I’m really interested to know how a computer is put together, what programs it runs on.”
Life sent its challenges Alla’s way a bit too early: she lost her father three years ago and lives with her mother now. She receives 20,000 AMD (around $50) from the government as a fatherless child, which is only enough to cover their monthly rent, and her mom makes 25,000-27,000 AMD (around $ 56-58) as a baker, with which they try to cover the rest of their expenses.
Even Kajaran’s unwritten law that one member of each family will work in the town’s copper factory didn’t work for Alla’s family: Mrs. Arjela has to be satisfied with the mere promise that she’ll one day have a job there.
But God’s ways are not always comprehensible and the light always shines brightest after the darkest night. As of this year, Alla is enrolled in FAR’s Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP) and will receive financial support from a family in U.S. until her 18th birthday.
We hope that the sun will soon shine into Alla’s rented one-bedroom apartment and that life will smile upon her and bring her much success.