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A letter from Gary Payton in the United States (regional liaison for Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia and Poland)

Dear Friends in Christ,

The pinks of a gentle, cold dawn tinted the snowy slopes of Mount Ararat. Across the just-waking city of Yerevan, the majesty of this biblical mountain grew ever larger as morning sun glinted off the sides of the 16,854-foot peak. And, in the Book it is written, “in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4).

Armenia: a land-locked nation of 3 million in the southern Caucasus, a former Republic of the Soviet Union and the first nation to adopt Christianity in the year 301.

Armenians: an ancient people who over the millennia have survived the onslaughts of invasion, conquest, natural disasters and genocide at the hands of an imperial power.

Read more about Gary Payton's visit to Armenia...

Warm Shoes to Schoolchildren from Vulnerable Families Initiative

During winter in Armenia many families are not sending their children to school because they cannot afford to provide even one pair of boots to their children. To make sure that children from vulnerable families have appropriate footwear to go to school during cold winter months, we will distribute warm boots free of charge to about 1000 schoolchildren from vulnerable families from remote northern villages of Armenia. The boots will be locally made, waterproof, from natural leather, with fur inside and with not slippery sole. Each pair costs about 13,000 Armenian Drams (approximately 35 US dollars).

With this initiative we ask you to make a contribution and give at least one child the opportunity to go to school.

A Rising Star

To sustain Armenia's transition to democracy and develop a healthy civil society, youth need to be actively engaged and given opportunities to participate in political dialogue and social development. In 2005, the Jinishian Memorial Foundation-Armenia (JMF) launched the project Civic Dialogue and Action (CDA) in two regional universities of Armenia. Presently, thanks to a grant from the Foreign Ministry of Norway, Civic Dialogue and Action is thriving in seven regional universities by engaging over 1500 students. The projects vivifies and enhances civil participation in Armenia through supporting and encouraging university students to play more active, capable and informed roles in Armenia's economic, social and political development.

Meeting with the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Armenia

On February 26, the Jinishian Memorial Foundation had the great honor of hosting Ms. Marie L. Yovanovitch, the Honourable Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Armenia.  Welcoming the guest, JMF Executive Director Eliza Minasyan presented JMF’s background and scope of activities.  The positive and warm atmosphere allowed the JMF team to openly discuss JMF current projects in the spheres of economic development, health, community development, civil society, education and spiritual uplift.

Stressing the importance of civil society development in Armenia, the Ambassador supported JMF’s idea of targeting youth in its educational and civil society projects as the most responsive, flexible and important segment of society.  

Jinishian Commission Visits Armenia: Reflections of a Commission Member

Cynthia E. White, JMP Commission Member
Coordinator, Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People 


Armenia is one of the oldest civilizations and the first in the world to officially accept Christianity as its state religion. It is a nation desperately trying to survive, trying to overcome its tragic history. It is a nation fighting for independence, democracy, and a brighter future. The spirit of the Armenia people and the nation’s determination create the potential to pull the country out of an endless cycle of mediocrity and on to a course of economic and political growth.


In the midst of this struggling nation is the Jinishian Memorial Foundation Armenia (JMF) working with the people in their fight for independence and self-determination. The Jinishian Memorial Program (JMP) Commission, the governing body of the international Jinishian program, had the pleasure of spending 10 days in October 2009 with members of the JMF Armenia staff, local advisory board members, and JMF community partners throughout the country.

Jinishian Memorial Foundation Celebrates its 15th Anniversary

On October 8, Jinishian Memorial Foundation’s 15th Anniversary ceremony took place in Aram Khachatryan concert hall. Government representatives, US Jinishian Memorial Program Governing bodies, members of Advisory Committees, Directors and staff members of Syrian and Lebanon Jinishian Memorial programs, Jinishian Memorial Foundation Armenia partners and beneficiaries, staff members, their families and friends were present at the event.

Michael Haratunian, Chair for Jinishian Memorial Program United States Advisory Committee, Victor Makari, Jinishian Memorial Program Executive Director and Eliza Minasyan, Jinishian Memorial Foundation-Armenia Executive Director delivered a welcoming speech. Thanking the guests for sharing with JMF the delight of the day, Mrs. Minasyan mentioned: “We couldn’t have achieved all these without your cooperation and devotion. And we still have much to do together in future. We’d like to express our profound gratitude to all those who have demonstrated their devotion and commitment to ensure a better life for our compatriots.”

The Government of Armenia awarded the JMF with letter of gratitude for the outstanding contribution to the prosperity of homeland. The official ceremony of the Jinishian Foundation 15th Anniversary was followed by the performance of Barekamutyun Armenian State Dance Troupe.

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