This program is the root of FAR’s work. After the 1988 earthquake devastated the country, those who eventually became the founders of this organization immediately sprang into action to help, trying to meet the emergency needs. More than three decades later, FAR continues to assist the most vulnerable populations of Armenia.
Vahe, who was a mechanic, was tragically stabbed and killed during a fight with a client. Anjela, her daughter-in-law Ruzan, and granddaughter Anjelika, soon found themselves without a place to live. They returned to Gyumri where Ruzan was eventually able to buy an apartment. Anjela, however, lives in a domik, which is one of the small containers provided to people who lost their homes during the 1988 earthquake.
To survive, Anjela attends the Nishan and Margrit Atinizian Senior Center daily, just as she has since November 2014.
“FAR has provided me with hot meals for eight years, which has helped me to survive. I also receive hygiene supplies, vouchers for public baths, and Christmas gifts through the senior center. So now I don’t spend much money on gas or electricity to cook at home,” she said. Socializing with others also helps her immensely, said Anjela, who still sews and made a doll wearing Armenian taraz for Margrit Atinizian when she last visited the center back in 2019.
Sixty-one-year-old Anjela Mkrtchyan lives alone. Sometimes she hosts her beloved granddaughter who lives just a few blocks away. The handmade stove in the corner of Anjela’s small domik serves as her heating source during Gyumri’s harsh winters. During the summer, it becomes her table.
Anjela lost her husband Gevorg when her son Vahe was still a toddler. She juggled multiple jobs to raise him—from cooking to sewing to selling handicrafts. She did everything.
In 2012, Anjela sold her government-issued apartment and left for Russia since her son couldn’t find a job in Gyumri.
“We went to find our fortune but we failed,” said Anjela with sadness.
Vanadzor Old Age Home (VOAH)
The Kevork and Sirvart Karamanuk Vanadzor Old Age Home (VOAH) continued to provide a home to 55 elderly residents during 2022 with a home and a community that is safe and supportive.
At VOAH staff help to keep residents emotionally and psychologically reassured, and plan various events that unite what they consider to be a true community for low-income seniors in need.
FAR Soup Kitchens
FAR’s five soup kitchens in Yerevan, Berd, the Yeghsapet Jambazian-Mangoyan and Yeghsapet Ambarian-Ouzounian soup kitchens in Nor Hajn and Byureghavan, and the soup kitchen at the Gyumri Atinizian Senior Center in 2022 continued their vital service of food provision to 800 people barely surviving on low-incomes or small pensions.
For many, the soup kitchens also provide a valuable social network, connecting many who often live in isolation, providing them a home away from home.
low-income and vulnerable elderly supported through a safe living community
elderly and vulnerable received hot meals five days a week
Social Services Program
By the Numbers
Harold & Josephine Gulamerian Foundation
Kevork & Sirvart Karamanuk Foundation
David & Myrna Sarafian Onanian
Women’s Guild Central Council - CASP
Knights and Daughters of Vartan
Nazarian Family Foundation
Nishan and Margrit Atinizian Family Foundation
Ararat and Sonya Hacet Foundation