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Report on the Humanitarian Aid Program

Description of the situation

In September 2023 the resumption of the half-starved and 10-month blockade of Artsakh, the forced deportation of Armenians from all over the territory in a few days and the terrible migration constituted an ethnic cleansing that will leave its mark for a long time, especially in the normal development of adolescents.

On September 19, the bombing of the entire territory of Artsakh began, including the capital Stepanakert, and two days later the entire population was forcibly displaced from their native land, unable to take with them clothes and basic necessities, even important documents. After a long and painful journey lasting two or more days, the residents of Artsakh [Karabagh] move to Armenia, where there is high unemployment and many other social problems. Armenia was not prepared to accept 110,000 internally displaced people. About 5,000 Artsakh residents settled in the Shirak region, which is considered the poorest region of Armenia, and for this reason the cost of housing was lower. The displaced people of Artsakh were an open target in the face of a cold winter, and the winter in Shirak is harsher than in the mild climate of Nagorno-Karabakh.

In addition to social and household problems, it was also important to ensure the continuity of the organization of education for children and teenagers. Our educational complex willingly gathered the exhausted and persecuted Artsakh families under its hospitable roof, and also turned to international organizations that implement projects to alleviate the daily worries of the Artsakh people. Fortunately, we received a quick response from Rev. Peter Adams (vice chairman of Christians for Armenia); ”Word and Deed”; “Come Over and Help”, “Christ the King PCA” and individual benefactors. Thanks to these benefactors, we were able to implement an emergency assistance program.

Project progress

First of all, families from Artsakh were gathered, a unified info database was created, their personal data was supplemented, a needs assessment was carried out, and after the approval of the project budget, prices were set with manufacturing companies from Armenia, who readily provided items necessary for emergency social assistance at cost.

We started cooperating with manufacturers who, in terms of price and quality, were more in line with the budget and requirements of our program. Then the procurement process was carried out, the most needy children, children with multiple disabilities and health problems were selected from the lists. They are the beneficiaries of the program. With the allocated budget, we were able to purchase warm winter clothes and shoes, bedding, jackets, which was really a great help for the 150 children attending our educational complex.

After the emergency assistance was provided, a report on the program was compiled.

Along with the provision of basic necessities, psychological assistance was also provided to these families. Psychologists noted that children aged 5-12 years had aggression, manifestations of fear, behavior disorders, and teenagers aged 13-18 years had deep depression, disappointment, and sometimes indifference, which is why they lacked the desire to learn and experienced problems with adaptation to a new environment and towards integration.

Thanks to educational therapy, the students gradually started to overcome stressful situations and began to adapt, integrate into a new environment, make friends. Of course, they were still carrying the hard feelings of the lost Homeland and the difficult path they have traveled.

Along with humanitarian aid, the families were provided with the New Testament and the book of Psalms, translated and published by our ministry. The families welcomed them, and many of them found the Scriptures as Word of God to be the most valuable support.

Project budget

The project started with a budget of $14968 (‘Word and Deed’) + $9800 (Come Over and Help’, ‘Christ the King PCA’ and other individual benefactors) Total $24768 – and ended with a mere US$ 6 left, as seen in the distribution list.

Some psychological and transportation services were provided to beneficiaries free of charge at the expense of our educational complex’s internal resources.

Problems Encountered

Problems also arose during the project: there is no informative database of assistance and actions provided by international organizations and local organizations, and we were unable to find a comprehensive assessment of the needs of about 3,000 families, so we were forced to include 150 beneficiary children in our joint program, visiting each family, assessing and identifying the urgent needs existing in each and every family.

Since the state does not have a clear program yet, and assistance to the displaced people of Artsakh is not coordinated but remains spontaneous, no structure has taken care of providing displaced families with household and hygiene supplies until today.

The need for project continuity

During the process of needs assessment, it turned out that almost all families live in houses with a relatively small surface, and many of them still sleep on the floor. It was thus necessary to contact our benefactors with a request to purchase folding beds with additional mattresses that will allow people to fold them in the morning and place them in a separate corner of the house so that they do not take up too much space, and open them again before going to bed. There is a need for such folding beds with a mattress for one hundred people. The cost of one set is US$115.

Dear friends, we are sure that our benefactors and beneficiaries of the program remember each other in their daily prayers. On behalf of the Gyumri city administration and our teaching staff, please accept deep feelings of gratitude and Christian good wishes.

With deep respect,
The Staff of the Project

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