There are two types of people in this world - ordinary and resistant. I was always told that I belong to the latter category, so as you can understand that debate is something close to my heart. When I became a 9th grade student at school, I was provided an opportunity to demonstrate my resistant personality in the debate club established at our school within the scope of a project implemented by the Jinishian Memorial Foundation. Being not fully developed, but yet a self-confident and result-oriented 13 year old, I started gaining debating skills. And I immediately understood that the characteristic given to me since childhood was completely true.
Abrahamyan Nane, Gyumri, 2 years old
The parents applied to the Arabkir Medical Center having problems with their infant’s gait. The radiography detected two-sided dysplasia of the hip (DDH). After a conversation with the parents of the child it became clear that the grandmother, being herself a medical worker, displayed indifference to the ultrasound screening and did not allow the procedure. However, when the child began to walk, it was the grandmother who noticed the strange gait of the child and, realizing the seriousness of her wrong decision, made the parents consult the appropriate doctor. Now the child is under ambulatory treatment at the Arabkir Medical Center where the doctors will try to make the hip grow normally by means of conservative methods like using gypsum bandages and, later on, wearing a separating harness. The child will be monitored until the end of the treatment. However, because of the late detection of the hip dysplasia, it’s difficult to foresee how the child’s hips will grow. One cannot rule out that the doctors could very well recommend a surgical intervention when the child grows up.
Khachatryan Mane, Akhuryan region, 1,5 years old
Mane did not pass her ultrasound screening immediately after she was born because the hospital ultrasound specialist was absent that day. The child was discharged from the hospital. After a month the newborn child was brought to see a pediatrician. By a fortunate coincidence, the ultrasound specialist was also in the office. Learning that Mane had not passed the ultrasound screening, he suggests to her parents to complete it as soon as possible. After the screening she was diagnosed with a two-sided dysplasia of the hip. The pediatric orthopedist of Gyumri starts the treatment of the child, explaining to the parents what dysplasia of the hip is, what treatment the child must undergo, and what the consequences will be if the child receives the proper treatment in time. Realizing the seriousness of the illness causing this disability, Mane’s parents listen to the advice of the doctor and promise to be consistent during the whole period of the treatment.
The sad reality of the Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) war (1988-1994) is that it wounded the soul of each person living there. It took away thousands of lives, and left children orphaned. Nothing is forgotten, but life goes on, and what else can we do? Some say they would rather have died in the war than continue to live as they do.
Armen is one of those people. Born in Hadrut town, he became a war veteran by age 21, traumatized psychologically and physically. During military action in Meliqashen village, he was seriously injured and his leg was surgically removed. It was 1993. His head and lungs were affected as well. Armen received medical assistance in Hadrut and Stepanavan hospitals. But another stab in the back was waiting at home. The girl he loved did not want contact with a handicapped man. Armen’s health was getting worse and worse. He did not want to communicate with people. In 2005 memory loss problems arose. Armen lived with his family, who were all very vulnerable. They were on the list for receiving an apartment until…
The Youth Engaged in Society (YES) project implemented by JMF Armenia and Youth for Achievements NGO promotes civil society through extracurricular debate clubs in over 100 schools in Armenia. Tatev joined the debate club in 8th grade thinking she would participate in the club a year at most. However, she was captivated by the project and continued through graduation. Not only did the project help her understand and debate issues of human rights and democracy, it led her to study law at the French University of Armenia. With guidance from JMF, Tatev has started a debate club in her university, which continues to attract students and engages them in debate on critical issues facing Armenia. “Debate club is a lifetime experience that increases students’ knowledge and self-confidence,” says Tatev.
Thanks to a generous gift from a vacation bible school group in Iowa, seven year old Arusik received two digital hearing aids. Arusik lives in Vanadzor city, Armenia with her parents, two older sisters and one younger brother. This city suffered severe damage and thousands died during the 1988 earthquake, the effects of which are still seen today. Arusik and her family live in a rundown one-bedroom apartment with broken windows and doors.
They live on the 8th floor with an elevator that has been out of order for almost 10 years. All three sisters have serious hearing difficulties, only the young brother can hear and speak well. The girls try very hard to interact with their peers, but since they cannot hear well, they cannot pronounce all the sounds accordingly, making it difficult to understand what they say. In spite of all the challenges, they are enjoying their life within the walls of their poor but loving house with a caring mother and father, who struggle to provide everything it takes to make sure their children get proper education for the future. With the digital hearing aids, Arusik hears almost perfectly and her doctor says she will improve her ability to speak clearly very soon, which is very important for Arusik, since she wants to become a teacher.
During Armenia's worst period of political and economic instability, Hovhannes started a farm from nothing in the abandoned and devastated village of Tghkut. Today, Hovhannes is a prosperous farmer. In 1989 Hovhannes began his career as a farmer by caring for the livestock of neighboring farms. Seven years ago, he borrowed 10 cows to start his own farming business. He managed to buy the cows in two years, making the start of a rewarding business. In 2005 Hovhannes was given the opportunity to receive a favorable micro-credit from the Jinishian Memorial Foundation (JMF). JMF had decided to extend its micro-credit services to the Meghri region after a study revealed the Meghri region, which includes Tghkut, had no access to micro-credits due to its remoteness from the capital city Yerevan.
During a period of three years Hovhannes had the highest repayment rate of any borrower and enlarged his livestock more than four times. Now he is an "A" class borrower, which means he receives the best interest rate and biggest available micro-credits. Moreover, he is a famous in the region for his high quality and great tasting cheese.
The remote community of Arevatsag in north Armenia’s Alaverdi region will finally have the kindergarten it has lacked for nearly 18 years after winning a grant from the well-known donor organization – Jinishian Memorial Foundation, and securing funding for its staff.
Some 20 children will soon attend the pre-school education facility to be constructed within the facilities of the Arevatsag Secondary School.
“Our village has not had a kindergarten since 1991, and sometimes it has been hard to explain to my children what a kindergarten is and what it looks like”, said Artur Meliksetyan, who actively participated in the proposal writing process. When World Vision’s Alaverdi Area Development Programme (ADP) started in 2008, it soon became evident at community gatherings that establishing a kindergarten was a key priority in Arevatsag village.
World Vision Armenia mobilised the community by facilitating dialogue between different stakeholders and encouraging each of the representative groups – village mayor, teachers, students, and parents - to give their feedback on the problems the community faced and share their part of the responsibility in resolving them.
The project Ensure Sustainability of Rehabilitation Treatment in Marzes of Armenia builds the capacity of regional doctors and nurses and creates rehabilitation teams for early diagnosis and treatment of childhood disabilities. Initiated in 2007 by the Jinishian Memorial Foundation, the project has transformed the lives of hundreds of children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, congenital hip disorders, and scoliosis.
Nine year-old Arsen Tigranyan from Ashtarak town is one of the children positively affected by the project. Unlike other children, Arsen did not attend school or play in playgrounds, because his disability affected his ability to walk. He felt isolated and never imagined he could be an equal member of his community.
One of the world’s oldest civilizations, Armenia was the first in the world to officially accept Christianity as its state religion. Unfortunately many decades of communist agnostic propaganda diminished the strong spiritual roots and traditions in the country. As a result of this spiritual gap, there is a lack of functioning churches and priests in many communities of Armenia. People’s knowledge about Christianity is very limited and is mainly based on the talks and ideology of parents that were strongly influenced by communistic atheism.
Recognizing the spiritual need to reach people with the gospel and to bring communities back to church, in 2006 the Jinishian Memorial Foundation-Armenia (JMF-Armenia) and the dioceses of the Armenian Apostolic Church together started a project called Spiritual Education and Experiences for Children.