[FAR Children’s Center]: Children’s Center Celebrates Vardavar.

  • July 21, 2012 2:37 pm

By Manane Petrosyan

Last week, the FAR Children’s Center celebrated Vardavar, one of the most beloved holidays for Armenians. Vardavar is a unique water festival, which dates back to Pagan times and is associated with Astghik, the goddess of water, love and fertility. During this holiday many rules of social etiquette are thrown out; people are expected to drench their relatives, friends and even strangers with water. During Vardavar it is said that a blessing comes with every drop of water that’s poured on another person.

On this special holiday Yerevan Djur, a company that manages the city’s water supply, invited all 35 children currently staying at the Children’s Center to visit the Water Stock of Yerevan, located in Arzni. Yerevan Djur is a member of the Center’s Circle of Friends supporters group. The children enjoyed a tour around the facility and they also learned about the process of supplying water to the population.

Despite the rainy weather that day the children poured water on each other, as it is tradition. They also played various games and socialized with famous actors, who are also members of the Circle of Friends and who had decided to celebrate Vardavar with the children.

Beneficiaries of the FAR Children’s Center celebrated
Vardavar during their visit to the Water Stock of Yerevan.

Credit: Gayane Arakelyan

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[FAR Children’s Center]: Center Expresses its Condolences to the Family of Seven-Year-Old Meruzhan.

  • July 19, 2012 2:18 pm

By Manane Petrosyan

Everyone at the FAR Children’s Center is deeply saddened by the death of one of our beneficiaries – the very sweet, talented and much beloved Meruzhan* who passed away last month from cancer. Meruzhan was just seven years old. Center staff had been assisting Meruzhan by accompanying him and his family on hospital visits, and by providing therapy and donations of food and clothing.

“I imagine there is no pain greater than losing a child. My heart and prayers go out to little Meruzhan’s family at this most difficult time. We very much hope that he’s with the angels now,” said Center Director Dr. Mira Antonyan.

*Meruzhan’s last name has been withheld for privacy reasons.

Meruzhan, a seven-year-old beneficiary of the
FAR Children’s Center, passed away from cancer last month.

Meruzhan often painted and drew as a way of coping
with his illness and hospitalization.

Credit: FAR Staff



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[FAR Children’s Center]: YP Trip Participant Leads Photography Seminar for Media Lab Staff.

  • July 18, 2012 1:46 pm

By Grigor Ghazaryan

FAR has recently organised a special IT workshop for tutors and facilitators working at the FAR Children’s CenterAlexander Jahani, a burgeoning visual artist who is currently developing his career among the Armenian diaspora, volunteered to teach and provide hands-on assistance to the staff who work in the Center’s media lab. Alexander also attended the 2012 Young Professionals Trip last month.

The aim of the workshop was to help staff become more familiar with the fundamental differences between the functions and applications of the operating systems of PCs and Macs. About 10 participants enjoyed their introduction to the Mac computers that are owned by the Center. Prior to the workshop  the staff barely used them because they lacked the skills to do so. “It’s important to develop knowledge from a ‘center’ of simple things around which you can start to expand and explain related things without having the group feel overwhelmed,” said Alexander.

Alexander is glad to share his knowledge and skills, and the staff seem to be gradually losing their fear of working on Macs through a simple approach to and familiarization with photography and basic editing software.

Alexander Jahani, a U.S. artist and 2012 Young Professionals
Trip participant, recently led a special IT workshop for tutors
and facilitators at the FAR Children’s Center.

Staff who work in the Center’s media lab had barely
used the lab’s computers because they previously lacked the
skills to do so.

All participants enjoyed the workshop.

Credit: Grigor Ghazaryan

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[FAR Children's Center]: Fifth Annual Best for Our Children Promotes Child Protection.

  • June 14, 2012 12:59 pm

On June 3, Yerevan’s Victory Park was filled with joyous crowds celebrating the 5th annual Best for our Children Day event. The day-long festivities held in honor of International Child Protection Day were organized by the FAR Children’s Center’s Circle of Friends support group in collaboration with prominent Armenian cultural figures who sold delicious goods, which had been generously donated by private companies. The event included an exhibition of children’s artwork, along with games, contests, a concert and spectacular fireworks. All proceeds from the event, which raised awareness of child protection issues, were donated to the FAR Children’s Center.

 The Best for Our Children in Yerevan’s Victory Park.

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[FAR Children’s Center]: Gift of Livestock Changes Family’s Life.

  • April 19, 2012 12:29 pm

By Manane Petrosyan

Two years ago, Anahit Hovsepyan’s family received the gift of a cow through FAR Children’s Center supporter Laoura Avakiants. Anahit and her three children, Mkrtich, 18, Armen, 16, and Zaruhi, 15, live in Artavaz, a small community in the Kotayq region (marz). This donation has helped the family immensely.

Recently, their cow gave birth a baby calf, which means that this family can quickly develop a farming business, and that will also help provide for some of the other families in the community. “The cow’s baby is so cute and she has such a pretty coat,” Anahit said with a smile on her face. “This support means so much for my family. I’m so grateful to our overseas sponsor, and to the FAR Children’s Center.”

“Now we have milk and yogurt to sell. We decided to give a name to this baby. We call him Jeyran,” Zaruhi said. “I’m not always available for my mom to care for the cows because I’m very busy with school, but I try to do whatever I can.”

The children of the family are very driven. Mkrtich dreams of becoming an architect, and Armen has a great love of music. He is taking guitar courses but does not have his own instrument, so the teacher lends him his own. “I very much hope that I will have my own guitar one day,” he said. If all goes well, the additional income will make that possible.

Anahit and her children at home in Koyayq marz

“Taking care of these animals requires a lot of care, but I do it
with pleasure,” said Anahit. “The winter is frosty in our community;
we cover the baby to keep it warm.”

Credit: FAR Staff

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[FAR Children’s Center]: Volunteers To Help Raise Awareness about Children’s Center Helpline.

  • April 2, 2012 12:14 pm

By Manane Petrosyan

Telephone “helplines” and other technology-based support services are now a unique and essential component of child protection. By providing a phone number, which children and their families can call to seek help, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, we are providing a path to emergency assistance. Sadly, though, most of the public does not know about such resources like the FAR Children’s Center Helpline. In order to raise awareness, the Center has recruited 30 volunteers who are going to make presentations in schools, community centers and orphanages, etc., to help spread the word about this resource. Volunteers are primarily students from Yerevan State University, Yerevan State Pedagogical Institute and other professionals.

The Children’s Center Helpline Service was established at the end of 2005. It provides an emergency service for children in need of care and protection. Calls are answered by professional, certified counselors who then connect the caller with emergency assistance and also links them to long-term care and rehabilitation, if needed. This toll-free number – 0800 61 111 – is accessible throughout Armenia.

With the support of these volunteers, Center staff seek to identify children and families at risk, and conduct proper interventions before it’s too late. Regular trainings are provided to volunteers by the Children’s Center to better their understanding of this service and to teach them how to present it in an appealing and user-friendly way.

Children Center staff are training volunteers on how to raise
awareness about the Center’s emergency hotline, which assists
children at risk at any time of the day or night.
The slogan of the Children’s Center hotline is:
“Protecting Children is Every Person’s Responsibility.
To you, it’s a phone number. To thousands of children,
it’s a lifeline. To society, it’s a wake up call.” Dozens of
volunteers are going to help spread this message.
Credit: Yerela Harutyunyan

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[FAR Children’s Center]: Center Assists Child Who’s Diagnosed with Cancer.

  • March 14, 2012 12:56 pm

By Manane Petrosyan

Six-and-a-half-year-old Meruzhan was recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Meruzhan and his family receive help and support from the FAR Children’s Center through therapy, medical care, donations of food and clothing, in addition to some financial assistance. When his overall health seemed to deteriorate in recent months, center staff assisted his family in taking him to the hospital for tests. Currently, Meruzhan is at the Arabkir Medical Center’s Oncology Clinic, where he’s receiving chemotherapy treatments. All of his family members are hoping and praying for his recovery.

“We are all in God’s hands,” said his mother Valya. “I believe that he won’t take my little Meruzhan’s life. I realize that it is hard to know that your child is suffering and you are helpless, but I want to stay strong for my child, stay hopeful even though I don’t know where I will find resources to help my child.”

Meanwhile, Meruzhan continues to create and express his feelings and desire for life and health through his drawings.

Six-year-old Meruzhan, a Children’s Center beneficiary,
was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Meruzhan often draws as a way of coping
with his illness and hospitalization.
Credit: Margarita Ter-Hovhannisyan

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