“I could hardly understand what Arusyak was saying over the phone, she was so excited,” said FAR Children’s Center Social Worker Rima Harutyunyan after receiving an unexpected call. “The only things I could make out were words like ‘cow,’ ‘baby’ and ‘birth.’”
Arusyak Gabrielyan had called Rima from her home in Artavaz Village, located in the mountains of Armenia’s Kotayq region. Many Armenian families from Azerbaijan fled to Artavaz during the Nagorno Karabakh War. Despite its strong community, Artavaz is a place with extremely limited resources and few job opportunities.
Arusyak’s family of four includes her husband Gagik and their two children Ruzanna, 15, and Dianna, 13. Before the Center’s social workers began to work with the family they could hardly earn enough money to feed themselves each day. Nevertheless, poverty was no reason for them to give up; they continued to fight and they even helped others in the village not to lose hope.
Through the Center’s assistance, Gagik’s family was gifted a cow by California donors Laoura Avakiants and her husband Richard Abrams. On their most recent visit to the family this spring, Rima and other social workers from the Center were able to see the cow’s newborn calf.
“It is a very nice and cute baby,” Arusyak said with the same enthusiasm as she had in her phone call. Now, her kids can eat nutritious food including milk, cheese and yogurt on a regular basis.
“The children can have breakfast before going to school,” she said. Arusyak had become used to the sting of guilt she experienced each time she sent her kids to school without breakfast. Now, she tears up when she talks about what this gift has done for her family.
Gagik is equally excited and proud of the birth of the calf. “In the long-term, we are planning to do cattle breeding as a business, and we can also help others in this village.”
To express their gratitude to Laoura and Richard the two children went to Kecharis Church in the nearby town of Tsakhadzor to pray for their wellbeing. Arusyak’s family are not the only ones who are excited; the entire village of Artavaz is eager to welcome Laura and her family so they can thank them in person.
“We thought that this place had been forgotten by everyone, even by God,” said Arusyak’s neighbor Karine during the staff visit. “It is truly incredible how this nice couple who are living on the other side of the world paid attention to our village and to the people who live here.”