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Commitment to North Armenia, Artsakh — Armenia Fund USA Newsletter 2014.1

Armenia Fund USA Inc.
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For Immediate Release
July 22, 2005


NEW YORK, New York — On April 21, 2005, Norman Miller, 91-year-old Armenian Genocide survivor and his son Bearge Miller, accompanied by Armenia Fund USA’s Chairman Kevork Toroyan and Executive Director Irina Lazarian, visited Karabakh for the first time after the cease-fire in 1994. This time the main goal of the trip was to see the results of the water project implemented in the village of Nor Getashen through Mr. Miller’s kind contribution. The delegation was greeted at the entrance to the village by Nor Getashen’s Mayor Alexander Nazarian and other officials.

Norman Miller and his family first traveled to Armenia in 1975 while Armenia was a part of the Soviet Union. He made his second trip to Armenia in 1993 during war in Karabakh, where he joined the Armenian troops for three months. The latest April 21, 2005 visit was his third trip to Armenia and his second trip to Karabakh.

Mr. Miller was pleased to see the water pipes at each door. They were even more visible, thanks to the red paint that “decorated” them, albeit done for construction purposes. “May this water provide a better life to those who drink from it,” he commented. As the Mayor of the village was telling everyone about the benefits of the project, Bearge Miller was excitedly taking pictures of the village and its people. It was very touching to see the villagers expressing their gratitude and appreciation to the person who had made their life so much easier. They wanted to see him, talk to him, share their story and learn more about him. He was also impressed by the fact that the villagers themselves were part of the construction team. They were paid for the job allowing a chance for earning wages - so much needed in the region.

Norman Miller and his son Berj in Nor-Getashen, Nagorno-Karabakh

Norman Miller and his son Berj in Nor-Getashen, Nagorno-Karabakh

The grateful villagers shared their stories of having to consume muddy water before Mr. Miller’s generous gift brought clean, safe water to the 14 families. Other sources of water were too far, and some people were forced to travel extensive distances and carry water back in buckets. One of the villagers, Varduhi Hakhumyan, an elderly woman who lives in a small house with her great grandchildren and grandchildren, told the Millers how life in the village had now been renewed and revived. She explained that the only way people in the village are able to survive is through agriculture, for which water is critical. All guests were very pleased to learn that the school in the village will also have running water in addition to the village’s access to a 24-hour supply of safe water.

"May this water provide a better life to those who drink from it," commented Mr. Miller.

Mr. Miller, moved by the impact of the project on the local community, pledged further support for water supply projects in the other two districts of the village. He also said he would look into the possibility of setting up small production units, such as a cannery, that would help create employment and take the produce of the village to other villages.

When Armenia Fund USA originally contacted Miller about the need to build water pipes to bring water into the village, he responded, “I know what it means not to have water. I experienced that in the army while on patrol.” He also commented, “I am doing this in memory of my father, mother and my friends who were massacred in 1915 by the Turks. God saved me for a purpose, so the least I can do is to help my people maintain their ground.”

In addition to visiting the project site in Nor Getashen, which was the main goal of Mr. Miller’s trip, organized by Armenia Fund USA, he participated in various events. This included meeting the Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin II, President of Armenia Robert Kocharian, and attending Yerevan’s National Gallery Musical Festival.

ABOUT ARMENIA FUND USA: ARMENIA FUND USA, founded in 1992, was the first of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s 18 international affiliates and serves constituents in all states east of the Mississippi. As a non-profit, non-governmental, nonsectarian organization, the Fund represents all Armenian constituents.

Armenia Fund USA is the largest contributor among the 18 international affiliates – supporting strategic infrastructure projects in Armenia and Karabakh, and having helped build 138 miles of roads, 100 miles of waterways, 36 schools, 3 electric transmission networks, 210 residential buildings and 15 healthcare institutions.

Armenia Fund USA’s Mission is the development of strategic socio-economic infrastructure in Armenia and Karabakh, focusing on major projects such as major highways, schools, drinking water to communities and humanitarian programs in education, training and medical facilities. The Fund has adopted a policy to go “Beyond Bricks and Mortar” to provide sustainability for projects it sponsors.

To learn more about Armenia Fund USA, please visit our website at or call us at 212-689-5307.

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