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

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For Immediate Release
September 16, 2010


NEW YORK, New York — On September 15, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund officially unveiled the renovated community school of Artsni, a village in Armenia’s Lori Region. The reconstruction of the campus was financed by the government of India, which provided the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund with a project grant totaling close to $221,000. The grant was awarded through the Indian government’s Development Assistance Programme, benefitting friendly states such as Armenia.

Students and Artsni residents gather to explore the new campus of Artsni’s community school, one of three concurrent projects in the region

The project resulted in the complete reconstruction of one of the two main buildings of the two-story school, which was built in 1962. The improvements include a new roof as well as newly installed hardwood floors, doors, and windows. In addition, the entire structure has been repainted and a boiler room was built to provide the school with heating.

Achal Kumar Malhotra, ambassador of India to Armenia; Sergey Manasaryan, deputy minister of foreign affairs of Armenia; Aram Kocharyan, governor of Lori; and Ara Vardanyan, executive director of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund joined Artsni residents for the highly-anticipated ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project, formally announced in February of this year.

Dancers celebrate the opening of the Artsni community school, financed through Hayastan All-Armenian Fund by means of the government of India’s Development Assistance Programme

In his remarks during the ceremony, Governor Kocharyan said, “This is a marvelous achievement. We find it deeply touching that the government of India, one of the oldest countries of the world, has provided support to address the core issues faced by schools in Armenia’s border communities. A village has no future without a well-functioning school, and we believe particular importance must be attached to the existence of schools in border villages and the support they deserve to receive for their continued well-being.”

Later, in an interview with reporters, Kocharyan stated, “Assistance work must be consolidated and carried out consistently. When the mayor of a given village seeks assistance from donors and his efforts lead to the realization of community projects, his constituents will have reason to be hopeful. Their faith in the future will be restored and they will once again consider building families in their native villages.”

Artsni is the site of two other major projects implemented by the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. A newly built community center was completed this past summer and the construction of a potable-water network is underway.

The interior of the friendly new facility epitomizes the phrase ‘spic-and-span’

“I am so very happy to be here today, celebrating the opening of this beautiful school,” said Ambassador Malhotra in his remarks. “We live in a time when a good education is of critical importance to the advancement of the individual, the society, and the entire nation. Of equal importance is the environment in which young people receive their education. I am delighted that the government of India brought its modest contribution to this wonderful project.”

As he addressed the attendees, Artsni Mayor Khenko Khachanesyan sadly noted that the population of the village has declined considerably since the 1990s; the community school now has 49 students but some 300 pupils once attended the campus.

Despite the fact that the residents of Artsni will no longer be forced to carry water from nearby springs thanks to the construction of a drinking-water supply system, the village still grapples with a host of problems that have led to an exodus of the youth and the consequent diminution of the community’s workforce. In his remarks during the opening of the school, Khachanesyan mentioned the lack of natural-gas and potable-water services, preschool facilities, and community leisure activities as the overarching issues still impacting Artsni.

“Today we are witnessing the result of the Indian government’s great generosity,” said Deputy Minister Sergey Manasaryan in his speech. “A school is the future of a community. The existence of a school is perhaps the most crucial component in securing the emergence of an educated, vibrant generation.”

“If we are to give villagers a compelling reason to continue to live in their communities, we must strive to address the most serious of the issues they contend with,” said the Fund’s Ara Vardanyan in his concluding remarks. “It is through the school that the community’s future will be forged.”

Within the next week, the Fund will donate five computers to the Artsni school so that students may acquire computer skills.

ABOUT ARMENIA FUND USA: founded in 1992, was one of the first of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s 20 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, supporting strategic infrastructure projects in Armenia and Karabakh. 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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