For Immediate Release
November 28, 2005
VOLUNTEERS HELPING AT ARMENIA FUND USA’S PHONATHON 2005
Calling upon donors, contributors and friends to raise funds
for the Rebirth of Artsakh
NEW YORK, New York – On November 17-20, 2005 a group of Armenian
volunteers from various shifts of life came to help Armenia Fund
USA with its Annual Fundraising Phonathon 2005. Having such diverse
backgrounds, all of them had something in common – eagerness to
help Artsakh. The Phonathon lasted for 4 days and was intended
to raise funds for the Agricultural Initiative of the Rebirth
of Artsakh Regional Development Program. Among 19 volunteers
there were high school and university students, as well as professionals,
all of them taking time from their busy schedules to help with
the Phonathon. Over 3,000 phone calls were made to Armenia Fund
USA’s donors and supporters east of Mississippi.
Phonathon focused on two main purposes: raising awareness among
the supporters and friends of Armenia Fund USA by introducing
them to the new initiative the Fund is undertaking to bring hope
to the people of Karabakh and Armenia by improving standards of
life there, as well as raising funds for the Agricultural Initiative
project that Armenia Fund USA is spearheading this year.
The volunteers were very enthusiastic and some ‘confessed’ that
before coming to volunteer they did not know much about Artsakh
and its history, and that the opportunity of being involved with
Armenia Fund USA made them also very much aware of what is really
going on there. “As a volunteer for the 2005 Armenia Fund Phonathon,
it was exciting to come together with other volunteers and work
as a group to contact and reach as many homes as we could in just
a few short hours. With everyone contributing positive ideas and
enthusiasm, the experience was definitely gratifying” said Linda
Kalayjian, a student from NYU.
This was the first time Armenia Fund USA conducted a fundraising
Phonathon of this kind, and the positive acceptance of the Armenian-American
community will certainly encourage the organization to develop
this fundraising initiative further.
Armenia Fund USA staff and its Board of Directors deeply appreciate
volunteers’ support to make the Phonathon happen. Volunteers’
help is very valuable for the organization because of the enthusiasm
this group of young people bring to the event, as well as the
support they are able to provide through the gift of their time
and talents. The organization would like to particularly thank
the Armenian Club at Columbia University and the Armenian Club
at New York University for combining their efforts to recruit
volunteers. Among them were: Linda Kalayjian, Colette Seter, Lorig
Setrakian, Alison Herdemian, Caroline Kahyaoglu, Christine Gemdjian,
Eliz Agopian, Elizabeth Gemdjian, Mary Krispo, Laurie Dabaghian,
Levon Baghramian, Levon Vrtanesian, Pierre Hagopian, Raele Sabounjian,
Soupouhi Bedikian, Vatche Tchekmedjian, Tamar Mikaelyan, Yeva
Jermakian and Alexandra Papazian.
All funds donated through the Phonathon this year will go directly
towards the Agricultural Initiative, the economics underpinning
of the Rebirth of Artsakh Regional Development Program.
The Agricultural Initiative is a three-region project to
develop the agricultural economy of Karabakh. Armenia Fund USA
will share the agricultural component of the Regional Development
Program – a strategic initiative that is expected to bring long-term
sustainable development for the region. Funds raised will go towards
establishing Agricultural Development Associations (ADAs) throughout
the Mardakert region. These ADAs will set up facilities to own,
maintain and operate various types of appropriate farm equipment
and provide mechanized services to farmers, to work the land at
affordable rates. The ADAs will provide a technology package including
access to farm equipment (tractors, harvesters, haying) along
with other support elements such as fertilizer, plus training
in farm management and animal husbandry. The Agricultural Initiative
for the Mardakert region alone requires $3.0 million funding to
serve the region’s 17,000 population.
After Armenia’s secession from the USSR, a war followed between
the neighboring Azerbaijan and the ethnic Armenian population
of Nagorno Karabakh striving for independence from Azerbaijan.
The liberation of the land and the 1994 ceasefire came at great
cost: those years of political unrest and economic turmoil left
the country in a vulnerable situation, in urgent need for economic
reform. Nagorno-Karabakh became an internationally unrecognized
territory having no rights to official statehood, and, thus, no
access to international aid. Because of this, Nagorno-Karabakh
has been left to fight for its survival alone in order to sustain
the land that was liberated at great human cost. This is why the
necessity of supporting the region has fallen on the shoulders
of the newly independent Republic and the Armenian Diaspora.
The development support to Nagorno-Karabakh is a crucial humanitarian
initiative. Thus, let us hope that events like Phonathon 2005
will become major fundraising initiatives in the future and give
Armenia Fund USA the opportunity to bring hope to people who await
ABOUT ARMENIA FUND USA: ARMENIA
FUND USA, founded in 1992, was the first of Hayastan All-Armenian
Fund’s 19 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 19 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.
Armenia Fund USA
80 Maiden Lane, Suite 301
New York, NY 10038