For Immediate Release
July 22, 2005
NORMAN MILLER'S CONTRIBUTION TO ARMENIA FUND USA BRINGS WATER
SUPPLY TO KARABAKH'S VILLAGE OF NOR GETASHEN
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
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
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.