[FAR Social Programs]: BCPP Develops the Creativity of Tavush Children

Even though Alla Israelyan is only in the seventh grade, she could already be considered the youngest full-fledged artist in Nerqin Karmiraghbyur, a village near the town of Berd. Alla has been drawing since the second grade, but when she began attending FAR’s art classes, she discovered her innate talent and love for painting. “My family didn’t have means for paints, but I find it much closer to my nature to be painting with paints.”

Now, Alla spends every minute of her free time with colors. “I love natural colors in the fall. I’m always amazed by the beautiful landscapes in my dear village and the surrounding areas. I try to express my love for nature through very bright colors.”

The budding painter experiments with her newfound color sensitivity in art classes organized with FAR’s Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program in the Tavush region of Armenia. Children within FAR’s BCPP also have the opportunity to receive a religious education in Sunday schools, which are organized by FAR’s dear friend Rev. Fr. Aram Mirzoyan.

More than 320 children have the opportunity to attend art and other classes twice a week. Thanks to FAR’s regional office in Berd, the children have the opportunity to display their artwork during several exhibitions throughout the year.

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[GTech]: GTech Summer Session Courses

  • August 20, 2014 8:27 am

GITC Summer Session Courses

July 7, 2014 officially marked the start of GTech’s summer session courses. The courses last two months and include such subjects as English, Math, Computer Engineering, and Basics of Programming.

The aim of these courses is to give students the chance to obtain preliminary knowledge in the field of programming and thereby help set them on a path toward their future professions.

This year, 30 students are participating in summer session courses, 24 of whom are studying to apply for the two-year intensive IT program. The remaining students are participating in courses on computer basics. At the end of the two-month courses, students will take final exams, and upon successful completion, they will be awarded with certificates.

Every year GTech seeks to improve its academic curriculum, offering its students the most advanced knowledge from the field of programming that will make them competitive candidates for today’s job market.

With these yearly curriculum improvements, the number of applicants to GTech also increases every year as young people in Gyumri start to believe that GTech can be a dependable path toward a bright future in their native town.

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[FAR Children's Center]: Restoring Color to Life

  • August 19, 2014 11:06 am

Little Milena is six years old, and a new resident at FAR’s Children’s Center. She has temporarily moved to the Center with her brothers to allow their mother to work.
From the moment she arrived, Milena has tried at every moment to emulate the older children. Despite her tiny stature, she makes every effort to jump rope faster, climb higher, act more mature…but sometimes her reality catches up with her. It’s clear that Milena misses her mother very much and cannot wait to see her again.

It is for Milena and hundreds of other children like her whom FAR’s Children’s Support Center works ceaselessly to provide a nurturing and safe environment. These children’s lives have often become grey due to many difficulties, and it is the solemn charge of each hard-working staff member at the Children’s Center to bring some much-needed color back into their everyday experiences. However brief their contact may be, the Center strives to give each youngster everything they need to overcome all challenges, whether they are physical, spiritual, or psychological.

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[FAR Scholarships]: The Great Patron of Future Journalists

  • August 15, 2014 9:45 am

FAR's Education and Science Programs' Manager Edik Karapetyan with Mrs. Ajemian's book 'Knock at the DoorAlthough it was the sweltering peak of Armenia’s summer, a handful of beaming students from Yerevan State University’s Department of Journalism simply couldn’t let the heat prevent a prime photo op right in front of their faculty building with their long awaited guest and generous supporter Mrs. Margaret Ajemian Ahnert.

Mrs. Ahnert, the founder of FAR’s Ester Ajemian Scholarship, met with the Ajemian Scholarship’s beneficiary students at YSU’s Journalism Department and spoke to them about the difficulties she had to face along her path. She also made sure to stress her achievements in the face of such difficulties. Mrs. Ahnert was herself a journalist, and authored the book The Knock at the Door about the Armenian genocide of 1915. The Knock at the Door was subsequently recognized by the New York Book Festival as the Best Historical Memoir of 2008.

“I didn’t have a chance to go to school. I listened to my mother and married very young. When I went to university, I was 50. You now have more time than me, so go ahead!” she exclaimed to her young colleagues.

“After I go home I will make sure that this small help will continue from now on. It was my feeling that here in Armenia girls need to have help to become journalists and have a voice, and I can now see that this is what you have become.”

As part of the meeting, YSU Journalism Dean Naghash Martirosyan bestowed upon Mrs. Ahnert a certificate honoring her as an individual who has “supported and contributed to the education of young journalists.” The award was also presented by the university’s rector Aram Simonyan.

“I pray for you from time to time and dream one day to help young journalism students like you do,” Naira Hambardzumyan, a former student and current public relations representative for the Ministry of Defense, said during the meeting.

“Philanthropy is a beautiful thing but more beautiful is the recognition of philanthropy,” Dean Martirosyan reflected at the closing of the meeting.

Members of the Armenian media were present at the event to meet with Mrs. Ahnert, and several stories about her visit made it to air on TV and online. You can watch one of the interviews with her here. It was done by CivilNet.TV, one of the leading online news sources in Armenia.

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[GTech]: Young Professionals Benefit from GTech’s New Project

  • August 13, 2014 11:27 am

In 2013, Arzin Nikolyan was one of a handful of young individuals to graduate from the Gyumri branch of the State Engineering University of Armenia within the department of Power Engineering. After graduating, he took the next logical step and began looking for ways to apply his newly certified engineering knowledge. He searched hard for a profitable and an intellectually engaging job related to his degree, but he came up empty-handed in his efforts.

To use his time more effectively, he decided to test his abilities in the field of programming, and Gyumri’s GTech proved to be the perfect testing ground. Arzin could quickly realize his intentions of learning programming, given GTech’s proven record of teaching highly qualified specialists in information technology, telecommunications, and other high-tech disciplines through state-of-the-art specialized education.

Presently, Arzin is a first-year student of the Web Technologies department at GTech. He is striving for academic excellence, always wishing to make the most of his education opportunities.
He is currently involved in a project entitled, “Enhanced Workforce Skills and Business Development via Quick Start (QS) Methodology” realized by GTech with the support of USAID EDMC.

The goal of this project is not only to create a competitive IT workforce that meets current market demands, but also to develop a culture of QS methodology within the Armenian IT sector and provide the students with dependable job prospects.

From May 23 up to 20 June this year, Arzin was one of 70 trainees who visited their future workplaces, which included top Armenian IT companies such as Big Brain, D-Link, E-Works, OMG Studio, Web Tech Systems, and VTG Software. He was extremely satisfied with his initial visit to Big Brain, where he will start working beginning in September 2014.

“I enjoyed working with my new colleagues, who were wonderful, and who had a meaningful and a valuable influence on my life. I learned more about their later activities and what to expect upon completion of my intensive IT course in GTech. All of these experiences have helped to shape me as an IT developer,” Arzin recounts.

“I am sure that my second profession will enable me to fulfill my desire to make a bright future, to expand my knowledge base, and to travel.”

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[FAR Health]: Enabling Doctors with the Best Knowledge

  • August 11, 2014 12:54 pm

FAR is using as effectively as possible the short month that the Continuing Medical Education (CME) participants have to train in Yerevan.

Usually the regional doctors who participate in FAR’s CME program perform their training in various Yerevan hospitals trying to gain the most they can from their stay in the capital. FAR chose one day during this month, though, to give them a break from the hospitals and brought them to a temporary classroom at FAR’s Armenia office.

Although it was a one-day break from their time in the hospitals, the physicians still spent this day gaining valuable knowledge to take back with them to their regions. At FAR, the CME participants learned about an electronic library that helps them gather evidence-based knowledge about palliative care, allergies, and hematological indicators.

Before doctors receive their certificates on the final day of training, they do have a responsibility to fulfill. Each doctor is required to present several clinical cases from their experience in Yerevan, as well as the abstracts they had prepared.  They are additionally encouraged to share their newfound knowledge and discuss the effectiveness of their training.

Lilya Sargsyan – a therapist from the Stepanakert Republican Hospital who enrolled with the June CME group of physicians – underwent her CME training at the Muratsan Hospital Complex Clinic. Among her group, she took the bold step to present first on a clinical case that was most applicable to her practice.

CME helps 8-10 physicians each month from different regions of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh in an effort not only to refresh their professional knowledge, but also to increase their awareness about general trends in public health.

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[FAR Schools]: A Significant Gift from Friends in NY

  • August 6, 2014 2:23 pm

This past winter the Gavar Special School for disabled children received a significant gift from its friends in New York – the Gavar Special School Auxiliary Committee. A new van equipped with winter tires will now be used to safely transport the 60 students of the school to and from home and to various educational and recreational outings.

The Gavar Special School students were thrilled upon receiving the present and expressed their thanks to their generous supporters in their own creative way. You may get a glimpse into the celebratory day in the video below.

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