DEBI ARACH CHILDREN’S CENTER LAUNCHES VOCATIONAL TRAINING

Children at Debi Arach join The Paros Foundation staff for the Vocational Training Program Ribbon Cutting on February 1, 2017.

On February 1, 2017 the Debi Arach Children’s Center launched the new Vocational Training Center with the commencement of classes in computer programming, 3d printing and robotics. With the goal of helping children from Gyumri’s most economically challenged families, the program aims to provide students with the skills they need to secure employment in Armenia’s growing technology-sector job market, hopefully bringing them and their families out of poverty.  The Vocational Training Center is made possible through a generous grant from the Assarian Family Foundation (MI-USA).

Students at Debi Arach’s Vocational Training Program learn computer programming utilizing gaming techniques.

The program’s curriculum was developed by the Union of Information Technology Enterprises (UITE) and is part of a nationwide effort to promote early high tech education and encourage young people to embrace careers in technology.  Classes in software and hardware, and computer and mobile device repair will also begin in the coming months.  An additional accelerated curriculum for young adults especially military veterans is also planned. All classes are offered free of charge.

“I am pleased to support the vocational training program at the Debi Arach Children’s Center because I believe that we have to give people an opportunity to develop marketable skills so they can work and earn a living wage,” said Dr. Gary Assarian, on behalf of the Assarian Family Foundation.  “I look forward to working with the Paros Foundation on this important effort.”

“The Debi Arach Children’s Center itself was the historic 100th project of the Paros Foundation’s 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity, which commemorated the centennial of the Armenian Genocide by implementing 100 special projects throughout Armenia. These projects were sponsored by hundreds of families from the Diaspora,” said Peter Abajian, Executive Director.

Debi Arach, which in Armenian means “moving forward,” helps socially vulnerable children through a holistic approach providing them both humanitarian and educational support. The center provides counseling and group therapy with a psychologist on staff, homework help and college entrance exam tutoring for all subjects. Additionally, the children are served a nutritious meal each day. Furthermore, the Center addresses a very important hygienic need by providing the children with supervised bathing facilities via the on-staff nurse. The goal is to help hundreds of children develop a vision for a successful future and to give them the skills they need to reach these goals.

Formally launched in 2006, The Paros Foundation has earned a reputation as the “go to” organization to oversee small and medium-sized project implementation in Armenia.  Beginning with our support for seven exemplary local non-government organizations working with children, people with disabilities and the arts, the foundation works to help build a sustainable and vibrant homeland while improving living conditions for its most vulnerable populations. To facilitate volunteerism, The Paros Foundation launched its SERVICE Armenia program in 2013. This Armenia-based service program for teens and young adults provides participants an opportunity to travel to and experience all that Armenia has to offer while helping make a difference.  Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.  The foundation underwrites 100% of administrative costs, thus allowing all donor contributions to be allocated directly to the projects.

To learn more about The Paros Foundation or its projects, or to sponsor a project of the Projects for Prosperity initiative, please visit www.parosfoundation.org or call (310) 400-9061.

APPLICATIONS FOR SERVICE ARMENIA 2017 NOW AVAILABLE

BERKELEY, CA—The Paros Foundation is excited to announce its dates for SERVICE Armenia 2017. The Program will run from June 24 to July 25, 2017 and enables young people to travel and tour Armenia and Artsakh, while engaging in meaningful service projects benefiting Armenia and her people. Applications are now available on the Foundation’s website www.parosfoundation.org.

“I am looking forward to a fun and successful SERVICE Armenia 2017 program this summer.” Said Peter Abajian, Executive Director of The Paros Foundation. “It is quite exciting to see students from throughout the country develop friendships with one another while working on meaningful service projects in Armenia.”

“Seeing what we accomplished over the month in Armenia was very meaningful for me.  Working with the kids and working on renovating the three classrooms was very exciting and fulfilling.”  Said Alec Muradlyan, “I would definitely recommend this program to anyone interested.”

Throughout the Program, participants will tour historic, religious and cultural sites in Armenia and Artsakh with experienced, English speaking staff and guides. Safe and well located accommodations and transportation combined with interesting cultural and educational activities will ensure all will have an engaging and memorable experience. The program is open to both Armenian and American young people (ages 17 to 23ish) wishing to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity. Knowledge of the Armenian language is not required. Join us and create a lifetime of great memories and friends. The deadline to submit the completed application is April 1, 2017.

“Overall, this was the best month ever and I couldn’t imagine my first experience in Armenia any other way. I made amazing memories with the best people, who I will carry out friendships with for a lifetime!” Said Nicole Sarkisian, SERVICE Armenia 2015 Participant.

More information including photos, video and the application form can be found at www.parosfoundation.org. For more information, please contact Peter Abajian (310) 400-9061 or via peter@parosfoundation.org.

ABOUT THE PAROS FOUNDATION

Formally launched in 2006, The Paros Foundation and its staff in Armenia and the United States have earned a reputation as the “go to” organization to oversee small and medium-sized project implementation in Armenia.  Beginning with our support for seven exemplary local non-government organizations working with children, people with disabilities and the arts, the foundation works towards helping build a sustainable and vibrant homeland while improving living conditions for its most vulnerable populations.

With an aggressive goal of identifying, vetting, fundraising for and ultimately implementing 100 special projects, The Paros Foundation launched the Paros 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity in October of 2011 to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.  Following the successful completion of this initiative, the Foundation’s leadership agreed to continue operating via this project-based model of philanthropy, and launched the “Paros Projects for Prosperity.”

To facilitate volunteerism, The Paros Foundation launched its SERVICE Armenia program in 2013. This Armenia-based service program  provides participants an opportunity to travel to, and experience all that Armenia has to offer while helping make a difference.

Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.  The Foundation underwrites100% of administrative costs allowing all donor contributions to be allocated directly to the projects.

To learn more about the Paros Foundation or its projects or to sponsor a project of the Paros Foundation’s Projects for Prosperity initiative, please visit www.parosfoundation.org or call (310) 400-9061.

THE PAROS FOUNDATION COMPLETES DISTRIBUTION OF SUPPORT OUR HEROES FUNDS TO HEROES FAMILIES

Berkeley, CA– The Paros Foundation is proud to report that $104,000 was successfully distributed to 104 families of Heroes killed through the end of May 2016. Paros staff personally met with all of the families and passed on this modest, but immensely important amount.

“The families of our heroes expressed their deep appreciation for the support they received from The Paros Foundation,” said Peter Abajian, Executive Director of The Paros Foundation. “Families stated over and over again how meaningful it was having both having us visit them and knowing the Diaspora remains vigilant.”

Aram Arushamyan’s wife, Eleda and his three children meet with Peter Abajian, Executive Director of The Paros Foundation in Stepanakert and received their distribution.

On the morning of April 1st, 2016, under President Ilham Aliyev’s rule, Azeri armed forces launched an attack on Artsakh claiming the lives of 104 civilians, volunteers and soldiers, young and old. What has been coined as the “Four Day War” left Armenians throughout the world in a state of shock, anger and sadness. In response to the devastating news and with encouragement from supporters, The Paros Foundation immediately launched the Support Our Heros fund. The goal of the fund was to raise $1,000 for each Hero’s family.

In a matter of weeks, more than $120,000 was raised for this effort. The Paros Foundation witnessed the coming together of Armenians throughout the world who contributed to the ” Support Our Heroes” fund. The Paros Foundation extends their deepest gratitude to Mr. Serj Tankian for his very successful effort to help promote this cause.

“This effort is particularly important in that families of deceased soldiers in Armenia and Artsakh are economically disadvantaged to carry on,” said Serj Tankian via his social media post.

Volunteer Suren Djaratanyan’s granddaughter poses with a photo of her Hero grandfather.

AIWA-San Francisco Chapter, who collected $4,000 for severely impoverished widows of soldiers and contract fighters in Artsakh partnered with The Paros Foundation to help distribute these funds. Furthermore, the Repat, Sahman and Arar organizations who are based in Armenia also joined The Paros Foundation to help raise funds and conduct joint distributions for this important effort.

Excess funds collected will used to provide aid to families of soldiers who were killed subsequent to May 2016. The fund will remain open and continue to help families of our heroes. A complete list of deceased soldiers is available on The Paros Foundation website www.parosfoundation.org.

Paros Foundation staff members Peter Abajian and Sevan Amirians meet with the parents and brother of Hero Robert Abajyan.

The Paros Foundation underwrote all administrative expenses associated with this effort allowing all contributions to be allocated 100% to the families. Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Roger Strauch, Paros Foundation Chairman, and team members Peter Abajian and Kegham Minassyan meet with the mother and brother of fallen Hero, Ashot Shahbazyan.

ABOUT THE PAROS FOUNDATION

Formally launched in 2006, The Paros Foundation and its staff in Armenia and the United States have earned a reputation as the “go to” organization to oversee small and medium-sized project implementation in Armenia.  Beginning with our support for seven exemplary local non-government organizations working with children, people with disabilities and the arts, the foundation works towards helping build a sustainable and vibrant homeland while improving living conditions for its most vulnerable populations.

With an aggressive goal of identifying, vetting, fundraising for and ultimately implementing 100 special projects, The Paros Foundation launched the Paros 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity in October of 2011 to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.  Following the successful completion of this initiative, the Foundation’s leadership agreed to continue operating via this project-based model of philanthropy, and launched the “Paros Projects for Prosperity.”

To facilitate volunteerism, The Paros Foundation launched its SERVICE Armenia program in 2013. This Armenia-based service program  provides participants an opportunity to travel to, and experience all that Armenia has to offer while helping make a difference.

Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.  The Foundation underwrites100% of administrative costs allowing all donor contributions to be allocated directly to the projects.

To learn more about the Paros Foundation or its projects or to sponsor a project of the Paros Foundation’s Projects for Prosperity initiative, please visit www.parosfoundation.org or call (310) 400-9061.

INVESTING IN EDUCATION ON THE BORDER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI8bGJvIxfw

Tavush, Armenia–Opening day in the Tavush border village of Nerkin Karmir Aghpyur was filled with excitement and celebration as the students, staff and families first viewed their school’s newly renovated wing.

Jean-Marie and Lori Atamian and their family made this work possible with their generous support, through the Paros Foundation’s Projects for Prosperity. The Atamian family and the Paros Foundation have worked together for more than four years to improve the quality of life here for the families of Tavush.

“This investment brings the total to almost $200,000 which we have directly invested in this strategic border community,” said Peter Abajian, Executive Director of The Paros Foundation.  “By addressing the educational, safety, health and economic development issues facing the residents here, we hope to bring a greater level of prosperity to this village.”

The renovation of this wing of the primary school included the complete reconstruction of six classrooms, the large hallway and two new bathrooms including new classroom furniture for the children.  A plaque installed in the hallway reads “Reconstruction of this wing of the Nerkin Karmir Aghpyur School is in honor of our brave soldiers, who defend the borders of Armenia and Artsakh on a daily basis, and their families.” Last year, through the efforts of Michael & Patricia Starzer, the elementary school wing of this school was completely renovated.  The final phase of the work at the school will include the renovation of the kitchen and dining hall and the school’s entryway and locker rooms and will be completed in the coming months.

“I invite other families to invest in a border village as my family and friends have and to share in the satisfaction of positively impacting the lives of our brothers and sisters in this strategic manner,“ said Jean-Marie Atamian.

In the coming weeks, the Paros Foundation will launch its “Prosperity on the Border” initiative focusing on investing in Armenia’s border villages in the Tavush and Gegharkunik regions.   This campaign will target economic development, educational and infrastructure projects in strategic border communities. Prosperity on the Border will invest in border communities to improve the living standards and economic conditions for families.

About The Paros Foundation

Formally launched in 2006, The Paros Foundation and its staff in Armenia and the United States have earned a reputation as the “go to” organization to oversee small and medium-sized project implementation in Armenia.  Beginning with our support for seven exemplary local non-government organizations working with children, people with disabilities and the arts, the foundation works towards helping build a sustainable and vibrant homeland while improving living conditions for its most vulnerable populations.

With an aggressive goal of identifying, vetting, fundraising for and ultimately implementing 100 special projects, The Paros Foundation launched the Paros 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity in October of 2011 to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.  Following the successful completion of this initiative, the Foundation’s leadership agreed to continue operating via this project-based model of philanthropy, and launched the “Paros Projects for Prosperity.”

To facilitate volunteerism, The Paros Foundation launched its SERVICE Armenia program in 2013. This Armenia-based service program  provides participants an opportunity to travel to, and experience all that Armenia has to offer while helping make a difference.

Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.  The Foundation underwrites100% of administrative costs allowing all donor contributions to be allocated directly to the projects.

To learn more about the Paros Foundation or its projects or to sponsor a project of the Paros Foundation’s Projects for Prosperity initiative, please visit www.parosfoundation.org or call (310) 400-9061.

SERVICE ARMENIA 2016 PARTICIPANTS LEAVE THEIR MARK ON ARMENIA

Berkeley, California–The Paros Foundation’s 2016 SERVICE Armenia program was another great success. Participants included 23 young people from across the United States and Dubai who worked together on seven different humanitarian and educational service projects over the course of four weeks, all while touring and enjoying Armenia and making life-long friendships.

“I loved every second of it. The service work we did was great and taught me a lot of life skills also. I especially liked when we had contact with the local kids. There were so many things to do in Armenia we were never bored. All the touring places we visited were amazing too,” said Talar Abajian, a high school senior who participated in this year’s program.


“Through the generous support of donors and SERVICE Armenia volunteers, three classrooms were renovated at the Lchashen village school, shoes were distributed to more than 200 students, and a playground was created at the Getashen village school for their kindergarten,” said Peter Abajian, Executive Director of The Paros Foundation. “In addition, we helped with the GOAL soccer camp in Gyumri, worked at the Debi Arach Children’s Center, and distributed English language literature through our Book-in-a-Bag project to three village schools.”

“I had a great time with Paros this summer, and I’m happy to say that I’m interested in participating next year too,” said Thomas Yocum, 2016 SERVICE Armenia participant.

The Paros Foundation established SERVICE Armenia in 2013 to provide young people between the ages of 17 and 23 with the opportunity to engage in meaningful service work while having fun in Armenia and Artsakh. Applications for SERVICE Armenia 2017 will be available in January on our website www.parosfoundation.org.

About The Paros Foundation

Formally launched in 2006, The Paros Foundation and its staff in Armenia and the United States have earned a reputation as the “go to” organization to oversee small and medium-sized project implementation in Armenia.  Beginning with our support for seven exemplary local non-government organizations working with children, people with disabilities and the arts, the foundation works towards helping build a sustainable and vibrant homeland while improving living conditions for its most vulnerable populations.

With an aggressive goal of identifying, vetting, fundraising for and ultimately implementing 100 special projects, The Paros Foundation launched the Paros 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity in October of 2011 to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.  Following the successful completion of this initiative, the Foundation’s leadership agreed to continue operating via this project-based model of philanthropy, and launched the “Paros Projects for Prosperity.”

To facilitate volunteerism, The Paros Foundation launched its SERVICE Armenia program in 2013. This Armenia-based service program  provides participants an opportunity to travel to, and experience all that Armenia has to offer while helping make a difference.

Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.  The Foundation underwrites100% of administrative costs allowing all donor contributions to be allocated directly to the projects.

To learn more about the Paros Foundation or its projects or to sponsor a project of the Paros Foundation’s Projects for Prosperity initiative, please visit www.parosfoundation.org or call (310) 400-9061.

SUPPORT OUR HEROES

As a result of the aggressive military attack by Azerbaijan along the front line of contact with the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, according to up to date reports, at least 20 Armenian soldiers from the Artsakh Defense Forces and local civilians including a 12-year-old boy have lost their lives and more than 70 people are wounded including two additional children. Our community must mobilize and do what we can to support an immediate cease-fire and support for these heroes, who have died defending our Nation.

For our part, The Paros Foundation has launched a Hero Support Fund to raise funds and provide them to the families of our deceased heroes. Our goal is to provide a minimum of $1,000 to every hero’s family. While these funds will no where near address this tragic loss of life, nor ease the grief of our hero’s families, it will provide them a bit of relief during these difficult times. As with any of our projects, 100% of your donation will be used to support this project without any administrative costs. Funds will be distributed as quickly as possible to the grieving families of these heroes.

Donations can also be mailed to our office address as follows:

The Paros Foundation
918 Parker Street, Suite A14
Berkeley, California 94710

ABOUT THE PAROS FOUNDATION

Formally launched in 2006, The Paros Foundation and its staff in Armenia and the United States have earned a reputation as the “go to” organization to oversee small and medium-sized project implementation in Armenia.  Beginning with our support for seven exemplary local non-government organizations working with children, people with disabilities and the arts, the foundation works towards helping build a sustainable and vibrant homeland while improving living conditions for its most vulnerable populations.

With an aggressive goal of identifying, vetting, fundraising for and ultimately implementing 100 special projects, The Paros Foundation launched the Paros 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity in October of 2011 to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.  Following the successful completion of this initiative, the Foundation’s leadership agreed to continue operating via this project-based model of philanthropy, and launched the “Paros Projects for Prosperity.”

To facilitate volunteerism, The Paros Foundation launched its SERVICE Armenia program in 2013. This Armenia-based service program  provides participants an opportunity to travel to, and experience all that Armenia has to offer while helping make a difference.

Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.  The Foundation underwrites100% of administrative costs allowing all donor contributions to be allocated directly to the projects.

To learn more about the Paros Foundation or its projects or to sponsor a project of the Paros Foundation’s Projects for Prosperity initiative, please visit www.parosfoundation.org or call (310) 400-9061.

NEW HOMES AND A FRESH START FOR GYUMRI FAMILIES

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAyCti-kAKI

Gyumri, Armenia—The Paros Foundation is pleased to announce that two families have become new homeowners through the Paros Foundation’s Purchase a Home project. The Agayan and Hakopyan families of Gyumri were previously living in temporary shelters or domiks. In 2015, they were moved from these domiks into newly purchased apartments thus receiving a new start. To date, the Paros Foundation’s Purchase a Home project has made home ownership a reality for four Gyumri families thanks to the generous support of our donors.

“There are many families like ours. I wish they would be fortunate enough to receive a home also. It is most important to not lose hope,” said Kim Agayan on the night he and his family first learned they were chosen to be new homeowners. Mr Agayan left Sumgait, Azerbaijan following the Sumgait pogroms and moved to Gyumri. More tragedy followed when his apartment was destroyed in the 1988 Spitak Earthquake. He married, and he and his wife and three daughters lived in a domik until two anonymous donors from California stepped forward and sponsored the purchase of a new apartment.

Earlier this summer, the Hakopyan family of Gyumri also received an apartment through the Purchase a Home project. “Hakop Hakopyan and his wife both grew up in domiks following the Earthquake, and their two sons will not have to endure the hardships they faced,” said Peter Abajian, Executive Director of The Paros Foundation. While the Hagopyan and Agayan family stories have a happy ending, more than 2,700 poverty-stricken families continue to live in horrible conditions in temporary shelters and in condemned buildings.

The Paros Foundation has partnered with the Shirak Center, which identifies potential beneficiaries and works closely with Paros to transition these families into their new homes. Following a rigorous screening process to select the families, the Paros Foundation staff identifies suitable homes in the newly constructed Mush 2 Neighborhood of Gyumri. Each home cost on average $20,000 for a two-bedroom apartment and includes upgrades to make sure they are well appointed. At a minimum, families must demonstrate that they have the means to cover expenses associated with home ownership. “We make sure to the best of our ability that families are in a position to maintain their new homes,” explains Pete Abajian. Agreements are signed passing ownership of the apartment to the chosen family, with the stipulation that until their youngest child reaches 18 years of age, the family cannot sell, rent or move.

As part of this agreement, families must surrender ownership of their old “domiks” which are then dismantled and thus ensuring that no one will ever live in them again. This mandatory component of the Paros Purchase a Home project helps us work towards the goal of ridding Gyumri of these terrible shelters. Wood taken from the salvage is distributed to other families to allow them to burn it for heating and cooking. The metal and other construction materials from the domiks are sold for scrap and above average wages are paid to those who work to tear them down.

The Paros Foundation underwrites all administrative expenses so that 100% of the donor contributions are allocated to the projects. To help support the purchase of home for a another family in Gyumri, or another project of the Paros Foundation’s Projects for Prosperity, please visit www.parosfoundation.org.

About The Paros Foundation

Formally launched in 2006, The Paros Foundation and its staff in Armenia and the United States have earned a reputation as the “go to” organization to oversee small and medium-sized project implementation in Armenia.  Beginning with our support for seven exemplary local non-government organizations working with children, people with disabilities and the arts, the foundation works towards helping build a sustainable and vibrant homeland while improving living conditions for its most vulnerable populations.

With an aggressive goal of identifying, vetting, fundraising for and ultimately implementing 100 special projects, The Paros Foundation launched the Paros 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity in October of 2011 to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.  Following the successful completion of this initiative, the Foundation’s leadership agreed to continue operating via this project-based model of philanthropy, and launched the “Paros Projects for Prosperity.”

To facilitate volunteerism, The Paros Foundation launched its SERVICE Armenia program in 2013. This Armenia-based service program  provides participants an opportunity to travel to, and experience all that Armenia has to offer while helping make a difference.

Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.  The Foundation underwrites100% of administrative costs allowing all donor contributions to be allocated directly to the projects.

To learn more about the Paros Foundation or its projects or to sponsor a project of the Paros Foundation’s Projects for Prosperity initiative, please visit www.parosfoundation.org or call (310) 400-9061.

PAROS FOUNDATION COMPLETES WORK AT THE HATSIK VILLAGE SCHOOL

Armavir Region, Armenia–The Paros Foundation is pleased to announce that the Hatsik village school renovation project is now successfully complete, thanks to the addition of a renovated gymnasium and more classrooms by the Paros SERVICE Armenia 2015 volunteers. The entire renovation occurred over the course of three summers with the support of scores of SERVICE Armenia youth and almost $85,000 in donations. The school received a total of 12 new classrooms, three bathrooms, boys and girls locker rooms, renovated entry and hallways, and the new gymnasium.

“The village of Hatsik was an important SERVICE Armenia site for our volunteers,” said Peter Abajian, Executive Director of The Paros Foundation. “Generous donors supported this project, and our volunteers and professional staff worked to significantly improve the physical learning environment for students.”

This renovation was a true cooperative effort. Throughout the process, village children joined in the work. The Hatsik municipality and school administration continued to support the building efforts by contributing both human and financial resources. Children of Armenia Fund undertook the complete renovation of the second adjacent building on the school’s campus. The Paros Foundation underwrote all administrative expenses allowing 100% of donor contributions to go directly to this project.

As part of The Paros Foundation’s work in the village of Hatsik, several other smaller projects were implemented including the provision of eye examinations for students, the distribution of dental hygiene products, the donation of a new EKG machine to the local medical center, and the distributing shoes as part of the Share-a-Pair project. Plans are underway for the construction of a soccer field that would host youth and club soccer teams.

“Our SERVICE Armenia participants worked hard, learned new skills, and accomplished their goals. Working together on the various projects in the village of Hatsik was an enriching experience for all of us,” said Narine Panosian, Associate Director of The Paros Foundation. “Over the last three years, a real bond was formed between the villagers and our team of volunteers.”

The Paros Foundation established SERVICE Armenia to provide young people between the ages of 17 and 23 the opportunity to engage in meaningful service work while having fun in Armenia. Participants spent one month working on a variety of humanitarian projects and touring Armenia and Artsakh, all while developing life long friendships and having fun. Applications for this summer’s program, which will operate from June 23 to July 24, 2016 are currently available at www.parosfoundation.org.

The Paros Foundation would like to express its appreciation to the individuals and organizations that contributed to the work in the village of Hatsik. For a complete listing, please visit www.parosfoundation.org.

About The Paros Foundation

Formally launched in 2006, The Paros Foundation and its staff in Armenia and the United States have earned a reputation as the “go to” organization to oversee small and medium-sized project implementation in Armenia.  Beginning with our support for seven exemplary local non-government organizations working with children, people with disabilities and the arts, the foundation works towards helping build a sustainable and vibrant homeland while improving living conditions for its most vulnerable populations.

With an aggressive goal of identifying, vetting, fundraising for and ultimately implementing 100 special projects, The Paros Foundation launched the Paros 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity in October of 2011 to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.  Following the successful completion of this initiative, the Foundation’s leadership agreed to continue operating via this project-based model of philanthropy, and launched the “Paros Projects for Prosperity.”

To facilitate volunteerism, The Paros Foundation launched its SERVICE Armenia program in 2013. This Armenia-based service program  provides participants an opportunity to travel to, and experience all that Armenia has to offer while helping make a difference.

Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.  The Foundation underwrites 100% of administrative costs allowing all donor contributions to be allocated directly to the projects.

To learn more about the Paros Foundation or its projects or to sponsor a project of the Paros Foundation’s Projects for Prosperity initiative, please visit www.parosfoundation.org or call (310) 400-9061.

SERVICE Armenia 2016: Applications are now available for SERVICE Armenia 2016

https://vimeo.com/152193704

BERKELEY, CA—Applications are now available for The Paros Foundation’s SERVICE Armenia 2016 Program. The Program will run from June 23 to July 24, 2016 and enables young people to travel and tour Armenia and Artsakh, while engaging in meaningful service projects benefiting Armenia and her people.

“I am looking forward to a fun and successful SERVICE Armenia 2016 program this summer.” Said Peter Abajian, Executive Director of The Paros Foundation. “It is quite exciting to see students from throughout the country develop friendships with one another while working on meaningful service projects in Armenia.”

Throughout the Program, participants will tour historic, religious and cultural sites in Armenia and Artsakh with experienced, English speaking staff and guides. Safe and well located accommodations and transportation combined with interesting cultural and educational activities will ensure all will have an engaging and memorable experience. The program is open to both Armenian and American young people (ages 17 to 23ish) wishing to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity. Knowledge of the Armenian language is not required. Join us and create a lifetime of great memories and friends. The deadline to submit the completed application is April 1, 2016.

“Overall, this was the best month ever and I couldn’t imagine my first experience in Armenia any other way. I made amazing memories with the best people, who I will carry out friendships with for a lifetime!” Said Nicole Sarkisian, SERVICE Armenia 2015 Participant.

More information including photos, video and the application form can be found at www.parosfoundation.org. For more information, please contact Peter Abajian (310) 400-9061 or via peter@parosfoundation.org.

NERKIN KARMIR AGHPYUR VILLAGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WING RENOVATED

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDnJ0okJC3E

BERKELEY, CA— Thanks to a $30,000 donation from Mike and Patricia Starzer of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, children attending elementary school in the isolated border village of Nerkin Karmir Aghpyur now attend classes in a newly renovated wing of their school.

“This is the fourth project we have completed in this village,” said Peter Abajian, Paros Foundation’s Executive Director. “Three years ago, we began our work here by renovating the medical center. Then our efforts turned to the village’s kindergarten that was renovated the following year. We also began implementing our Agribusiness on the Border project in this village; with six families receiving economic assistance to help grow their home-based businesses and improve the conditions for their families. We hope that this strategic approach to village development significantly improves the lives of these villagers.”

The village of Nerkin Karmir Aghpyur is an isolated border village in Armenia’s northeast Tavush province. 1,380 residents are living under the constant threat of cross border sniper fire from Azerbaijan. The village school was damaged during the war with Azerbaijan. While portions of the school have been partially renovated, the wing housing the elementary school classrooms, was in need of a complete renovation to provide the children with a clean, safe and sanitary environment in which to learn.

Work consisted of rebuilding classroom walls, heating system upgrades, installation of new restrooms including water supply and sewer lines, installation of classroom doors, new flooring, electrical fixtures, new whiteboards and new and renovated furniture. In total, five classrooms (grades one through five), two restrooms and a large corridor were reconstructed. In response to the generous donation from the Starzers, Jean-Marie and Lori Atamian have recently announced that in 2016 they will underwrite the renovation of the remaining wing of the school, housing the sixth through twelfth grade classrooms. This is the Atamian family’s fourth project in this village. The final phase of the school reconstruction will be the kitchen and cafeteria, which are located in an adjacent building. We plan to secure pledges for this final phase this year.

The Paros Foundation underwrote all administrative expenses so that 100% of contributions were allocated to this project. To help this effort or another project of the Paros Foundation’s Projects for Prosperity, please visit www.parosfoundation.org.

To honor the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, The Paros Foundation launched The Paros 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity initiative in the fall of 2011 to benefit Armenia and her people. 100 pre-screened projects in the areas of development, education, cultural and humanitarian will be implemented to help make Armenia stronger and improve the lives of her people.

Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. To find out how you can sponsor a project and for more information about how to get involved, please visit www.parosfoundation.org or call (310) 400-9061.

Formally launched in 2006, The Paros Foundation supports six exemplary local NGOs in Armenia and launched the Paros 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity in October of 2011 to commemorate the upcoming centennial of the Armenian Genocide. With an aggressive goal of identifying, vetting, fundraising for and ultimately implementing 100 special projects, The Paros Foundation and its staff in Armenia and the United States are quickly earning a reputation as the “go to” organization to oversee small and medium-sized project implementation in Armenia.

To sponsor a project of the Paros Foundation’s 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity, please visit www.parosfoundation.org.

PAROS FOUNDATION REACHES 100 FOR 100 GOAL WITH OPENING OF DEBI ARACH CHILDREN’S CENTER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idA8y2UEDp8

BERKELEY, CA—The Paros Foundation has successfully reached it goal of implementing 100 special projects in Armenia through its 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity initiative with the launch of the Debi Arach Children’s Center in Armenia’s second largest city, Gyumri. The 100 for 100 effort was launched in the fall of 2011 to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide by implementing 100 educational, development, humanitarian and cultural projects in Armenia and Artsakh.

“Helping address the many needs Armenia has through our project based model of philanthropy both made sense and offered sponsors around the world an opportunity to mark the centennial by making Armenia a better place,” said Peter Abajian, Executive Director of the Paros Foundation. “I am so proud that our Debi Arach Children’s Center marks the 100th project and culmination of our 100 for 100 initiative.”

Children who live in extreme poverty in Gyumri, often without proper guidance and supervision, are at risk of becoming so called “social orphans.” They literally spend time in and out of Gyumri’s orphanages. The Debi Arach Children’s Center (Debi Arach means “moving forward” in Armenian) helps these socially vulnerable children. Using a holistic approach, the Center provides the necessary academic, psychological, social and humanitarian support to 130 students weekly, giving them an opportunity for a bright future by breaking the cycle of poverty for this community.

The Center, which operates after school, provides counseling and group therapy with a psychologist on staff, homework help and tutoring for many of the subjects the children learn in school including English, Armenian, Math and Art/Design. In addition computer classes, educational excursions and guest presenters provide exciting extracurricular learning opportunities for these children, free of charge, in a safe, warm and comfortable environment.

Additionally, these children often suffer from malnutrition and related illnesses due to a lack of well-balanced meals. The Center provides each child with a nutritious meal everyday, helping them receive the calories and/or nutrients they need. The Center also addresses a very important hygienic need by providing the children in attendance with supervised bathing facilities.

The goal is to help hundreds of children develop a vision for a successful future, and to give them the skills they need to reach these goals. This project is impacting the lives of hundreds of socially vulnerable children by helping them gain the guidance and support they need in order to create greater future opportunities, and become successful individuals and good citizens.

“Now that we reached our goal, I am excited for our model of project based philanthropy to continue into the future through our Projects for Prosperity initiative,” said Peter Abajian.

The Paros Foundation would like to recognize the following donors whose very generous support underwrote major components of the center: Ani Vartanian Boladian & Rasmig Boladian, The Dadourian Foundation, Developmental Services for Armenia, Knights of Vartan, Ardaz Lodge. Please visit www.parosfoundation.org for a full list of Debi Arach Children Center contributors.

Proceeding into the future, the Debi Arach Children’s Center aims to add a preschool program targeting children ages three to five. In addition, it hopes to expand its services by adding a vocational training center for children who do not intend on pursuing a college career. Funding is needed for both of these future possibilities.

The Paros Foundation underwrote all administrative expenses so that 100% of contributions were allocated to this project. To help this effort or another project of the Paros Foundation’s Projects for Prosperity, please visit www.parosfoundation.org.

PACKS ON BACKS BRINGS BACKPACKS & SCHOOL SUPPLIES TO CHILDREN IN ARMENIA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdEygEbdIjA

Armenia, 2015- The Paros Foundation and The Heros Humanitarian Foundation joined forces to help children in Armenia. 480 children in need from both Gyumri and Vanadzor received new backpacks and age appropriate school supplies through the Packs on Backs Armenia project. 

“We share a common belief that no child should be deprived of the essential necessities needed for their education regardless of their socioeconomic status,” Sara Sousani, The Heros Humanitarian Foundation President. “By working together we were able to help address that need for almost 500 children.”

Both organizations worked together to fundraise, purchase, pack and ship backpacks and school supplies from Los Angeles to Yerevan. Several supporters including the SERVICE Armenia 2015 group, and friends from the St. James Armenian Church in Watertown, Massachusetts also volunteered their time to help fill backpacks with supplies and distribute them to the children.

“Distributing these backpacks prior to the start of school helped solve a big problem for this community of children,” said Aida Khachatryan, Debi Arach Children’s Centers Coordinator.

Packs on Backs Armenia first launched in Gyumri, whose devastating history has left more than 100,000 residents homeless, and plagued with unemployment and rampant poverty. These families often struggle to provide their children with life’s basic necessities. Distributions were made to the children attending the Debi Arach Childrens Center and other children living in domik neighborhoods in Gyumri. Additional distributions were then made to children attending the Orran Center in Vanadzor.

The Heros Humanitarian Foundation has worked with children in need and their families in Los Angeles and Armenia for the last seven years. Their mission is to provide backpacks and school supplies to children living in poverty and from low socioeconomic households around the world. Through their Packs on Backs initiative, Heros hopes to motivate children, help them stay and excel in school, and have successful futures.

Formally launched in 2006, The Paros Foundation supports six exemplary local NGOs in Armenia and launched the Paros “100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity” in October of 2011 to commemorate the upcoming centennial of the Armenian Genocide. With an aggressive goal of identifying, vetting, fundraising for and ultimately implementing 100 special projects, The Paros Foundation and its staff in Armenia and the United States are quickly earning a reputation as the “go to” organization to oversee small and medium-sized project implementation in Armenia.

The Paros Foundation underwrote all administrative expenses associated with this project allowing all contributions to be allocated 100% to this project. Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Due to the great success of this project, this partnership will continue to provide more children with this basic necessity. To find out how to help sponsor the Packs on Backs Armenia project, please visit www.parosfoundation.org or contact Narine Panosian at (818) 497-8338 or narine@parosfoundation.org.

Next Gyumri Family Receives New Apartment Through The Paros Foundation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-4fPEJO6J0

BERKELEY, CA—Thanks to the generosity of Jean-Marie and Lori Atamian and their family, the Grigoryan family of Gyumri moved from their “domik” to a new apartment through The Paros Foundation’s “Purchase a Home Project.” Over a ten day period in July 2015, the Grigoryan’s domik was dismantled, the land cleared and the family moved into a two bedroom apartment. The land, where their domik has been situated for 25 years, was returned to the adjacent school as part of an agreement with the school and city, and will be used by the school once more.

“It is a great day in Gyumri when another family can leave behind the desperation of “domik” living and move into a clean, safe and beautiful apartment,” said Peter Abajian, Executive Director of The Paros Foundation. “I would like to especially thank Jean-Marie and Lori Atamian and their family for their generous support to purchase a quality two-bedroom apartment for the Grigoryans.”

At the conclusion of a strict screening process, and confirmation that the Grigoryans qualified for an apartment through the “Purchase a Home” project, Paros Foundation staff, along with Paros Foundation partner, the Shirak Centre NGO, identified and purchased the apartment.  New kitchen cabinets and appliances were purchased then installed making their new home complete.

“We have only been in our new home for ten days, and we already feel like real people,”  said Armine Grigoryan, wife and mother of two.  “I wish for the day that no one is left living in a domik in Gyumri.”

Following the Grigoryan’s move, their old domik was dismantled and wood taken from the salvage has been stored for distribution to other domik families to use for heating and cooking fuel this winter. The metal and other construction materials were sold for scrap and above average wages were paid to locals who worked to tear down this domik.

The Paros Foundation underwrote all administrative expenses so that 100% of the Atamian contribution was allocated to this project.  This is the second family to benefit from the “Purchase a Home” project.  The Paros Foundation continues to raise funds to support the plight of other domik families in Gyumri.  To help this effort or another project of the Paros Foundation’s Projects for Prosperity, please visit www.parosfoundation.org.

About The Paros Foundation

To honor the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, The Paros Foundation launched The Paros 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity initiative in the fall of 2011 to benefit Armenia and her people. 100 pre-screened projects in the areas of development, education, cultural and humanitarian will be implemented to help make Armenia stronger and improve the lives of her people.

Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. To find out how you can sponsor a project and for more information about how to get involved, please visit www.parosfoundation.org or call (310) 400-9061.

Formally launched in 2006, The Paros Foundation supports six exemplary local NGOs in Armenia and launched the Paros 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity in October of 2011 to commemorate the upcoming centennial of the Armenian Genocide. With an aggressive goal of identifying, vetting, fundraising for and ultimately implementing 100 special projects, The Paros Foundation and its staff in Armenia and the United States are quickly earning a reputation as the “go to” organization to oversee small and medium-sized project implementation in Armenia.

To sponsor a project of the Paros Foundation’s 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity, please visit www.parosfoundation.org.

MARC TOGNOZZI MEMORIAL FUND AND DR. GEORGE APELIAN JOIN FORCES TO BRING SMILES TO THE FACES OF ARMENIAN CHILDREN

Agoura Hills, CA—On Sunday, August 9, Hilltop Dental served as the venue for a lovely evening of refreshments and fellowship benefitting the Dental Clinic at the Prkutyun Special Children’s Center. The Marc Tognozzi Memorial Fund, established and maintained through The Paros Foundation, has partnered with Dr. George Apelian to both support and help raise needed funding to maintain the ongoing free dental services the clinic provides to almost 1,000 patients annually.

“Through Marc’s Fund, I am very proud to support Dr. Apelian’s work to benefit the children at the Prkutyun Center in Armenia.” Said Esther Tognozzi, Marc’s mother “Dr. Apelian established this clinic 10 years ago and we hope to work together to raise the support necessary to ensure its success well into the future.”

The Dental Clinic at the Prkutyun Special Children’s Center is named after George Apelian, Jr. and provides free dental services to more than 1,000 children of the center and their families who meet the financial guidelines established by the Center. The Center is currently in need of funding to replace its x-ray machine and operating funding to ensure operations through the end of 2015.

The Marc Tognozzi Memorial Fund was established in 2013 following the untimely passing of Marc Tognozzi. In an effort to find solace in creating some good from this terrible tragedy, the Tognozzi family partnered with The Paros Foundation to create The Marc Tognozzi Memorial Fund to implement valuable projects in Armenia.

The Paros Foundation underwrites all administrative expenses allowing all sponsor contributions to be allocated 100% to the project. Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Formally launched in 2006, The Paros Foundation supports six exemplary local NGOs in Armenia with contributions of quality rent-free program space, operating funds and human resource support. To honor the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, The Paros Foundation launched the Paros 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity in October of 2011. With an aggressive goal of identifying, vetting, fundraising for and ultimately implementing 100 special projects, The Paros Foundation and its staff in Armenia and the United States are quickly earning a reputation as the “go to” organization to oversee small and medium-sized project implementation in Armenia. To donate, or for more information, visit www.parosfoundation.org or call (310) 400-9061.

PAROS FOUNDATION’S BAY AREA COMMITTEE HOSTS SIP, SAVOR AND SHARE FUNDRAISER


Proceeds to Benefit Verin Tsakhkavan Medical Center and the Ghoghanj Children’s Center

San Francisco, CA–On January 24, 2015 The Bay Area Paros Committee hosted their 2nd annual wine tasting fundraiser. The Sip, Savor and Share event raised funds for two important Paros 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity; the creation of a math and science lab at the Ghoghanj Children’s Center and the reconstruction of a medical center in the village of Verin Tsakhkavan located in the Bert area of Armenia’s Tavush Region.

Proceeds from a similar fundraising event in 2013 were used to renovate the Kurtan Medical Center, and several committee members visited Kurtan for its official opening in June 2014. “The committee was excited to be able to raise funds for yet another medical center in Armenia. Witnessing the positive impact of a fully functioning medical clinic on the residents of Kurtan increased our sense of urgency to support more medical projects like Verin Tsakhkavan,” said Bay Area Paros Committee Member, Valina Agbabian. The residents of Verin Tsakhkavan live in a remote and isolated area. Their medical center serves more than 800 patients annually including more than 200 children. The medical center will be partially reconstructed including heating and water installation and will receive updated equipment and medical supplies to better serve their patients.

Proceeds from this year’s wine event will also fund the creation of a math and science lab at the Ghoghanj Children’s Center in Yerevan. The goal of the math and science lab is to provide after school science and math enrichment for at risk children who do not otherwise have access to such classes. The lab will be equipped with science lab supplies, and proceeds will also pay the salary of a science teacher. There will be computer science classes and math tutoring. Hopefully, these enrichment opportunities will both stimulate creativity and provide necessary skills for these children to be successful. “My wife Wendi and I are pleased to participate in an effort to expand upon the important work of the Ghoghanj Children’s Center with this science lab,” said Rubik Moradian, Bay Area Paros Committee member and key event sponsor.

Fifty guests spent the evening tasting French, California and Armenian wines at the home of Roger Strauch and Julie Kulhanjian. Rubik and Wendi Moradian generously donated the French and California wines. Armenian wines were also featured and included wines from ArMas winery, which donated their wines, and wines from Zorah and Karas. Later, sauternes and the ever-popular Ararat Nairi cognac were served with desserts and cheese. Paros Committee members worked and prepared delicious food to complement the excellent wines. Professional sommelier Michael Perry provided a particularly wonderful flair to the evening’s wine tasting and the silent auction that followed. Bay Area Paros Committee members include Valina Agbabian, Suzanna Cogswell, Laura Conrow, Rita Kablanian, Martha Missirlian, Rick & Wendi Moradian and Julie Kulhanjian Strauch.

During a short formal presentation, Roger Strauch, Paros Foundation Founder and Chairman, welcomed guests, recognized organizations, supporters and friends, and presented the Foundation’s vision for the future. Guests also learned more about The Paros Foundation and its projects, the foundation’s future goals and volunteer opportunities from Executive Director, Peter Abajian.

Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. The Paros Foundation underwrites all administrative expenses associated with both projects allowing all contributions to be allocated 100% to these projects.

Formally launched in 2006, The Paros Foundation supports six exemplary local NGOs in Armenia and launched the Paros 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity in October of 2011 to commemorate the upcoming centennial of the Armenian Genocide. With an aggressive goal of identifying, vetting, fundraising for and ultimately implementing 100 special projects, The Paros Foundation and its staff in Armenia and the United States are quickly earning a reputation as the “go to” organization to oversee small and medium-sized project implementation in Armenia.

To sponsor a Paros 100 for 100 Project for Prosperity or to find out how you can help fundraise, please visit  www.parosfoundation.org.