Debi Arach Children's Center 2019 Operating Budget
The Paros Foundation launched the Debi Arach Children’s Center in Gyumri, Armenia on April 15, 2015 with the help of generous donors. The center, which provides 170 children each week the necessary academic, psychological, social and humanitarian support, has since been a source of positivity in this city. The residents of Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city have endured very devastating realities since the tragic 1988 Spitak Earthquake. More than 100,000 residents were left homeless, and plagued with unemployment and rampant poverty for years to come. In turn, the fate of children in Gyumri has also been affected. Dealing with the difficulty of finding means to feed and care for their families, many parents are unable to provide their children with the proper guidance, supervision, educational aid and the financial resources for them to excel in school and have successful futures. The Debi Arach Children’s Center, which in Armenian means “moving forward,” helps these socially vulnerable children through a holistic approach providing them with both humanitarian and educational support. The center provides counseling and group therapy with a psychologist on staff, homework help and tutoring for almost every subject the children learn in school including English, Math, Art/Design, and Computer classes. Additionally, they are served a nutritious meal everyday, helping them receive the calories and/or nutrients they would otherwise not have. Furthermore, the Center 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.
To date, the center has already had several important successes. At least nine children have been taken out of boarding schools, attend our center and now live back at home with their families. Many of the children who were receiving poor grades in school are now achieving top scores. The children have become socially well adjusted and much more healthier than before with the continued consumption of multi-vitamins and a daily well-balanced meal. Staff trainings have begun with an academic counsel of professionals from the United States and Armenia to ensure that the children are receiving the best care, treatment and methods for their development.
The center is working on funding year four and raising additional funds in order to develop and add to the programs and classes offered with the ability to hire more educators, and get more supplies, and equipment. Funds will also be used to supplement daily activities, hold forums for guest speakers and provide educational and career planning opportunities. $77,000 is needed to cover operating costs for the Center. In January of 2017, Debi Arach successfully launched its first program within its Vocational Training Center, teaching children computer programming, 3d printing and robotics curriculum. The goal of this newest component is to provide these children with marketable job skills in order to help them work themselves out of poverty.
Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.
Short Term Impact
Long Term Impact
Ms. Mariam KostandyanUnited States
Mr. Roupen DechkounianLexington, MA
Mr. Albert AvedissianPorter Ranch, CA
Mr. Donald CutlerFrisco, TX
Ms. Gayane PogosyanFrisco, TX
Mr. & Mrs. Vahan & Anne SarkisianNew London, NH
Dr. & Mrs. Shant & Robin GarabedianJackson, TN
Dr. & Mrs. Shant & Robin GarabedianArcadia, CA
Dr. John AljianAlpine, NJ
Mr. & Mrs. Chuck & Peggy BarsamHuntington Beach, CA
The Paros Foundation’s Service Armenia 2019 group came to visit Debi Arach and implement the Packs on Backs Armenia: Debi Arach project, distributing backpacks full of school supplies to all of the students. The backpacks are important for students as they ensure that no student is left behind due to inadequate school supplies. The SERVICE 2019 group will return soon to spend one of their work days doing minor renovations and paint work at the center.
The Paros Foundation’s Mobile Dental Clinic arrived at Debi Arach to treat the students throughout the month of July with free dental care and treatment.
Today, Debi Arach had an amazing fall mini-excursion at a local park. Students split up into groups, some picking up trash and cleaning the park, some writing poetry, and some doing arts and crafts. It was a great day not only doing good for the community, but also appreciating nature.
Debi Arach now has a small library for students with over 100 books in Armenian, English, and Russian. Classes have been extended two days a week to allow for some independent reading time.
As a part of Debi Arach's career fair program and focused on the profession of law, 20 students were given the rare opportunity to visit a court. The president of the Universal Court of the Shirak Marz, Gagik Hovhannisyan, spoke about the judicial process and how a court case works. Students received a full tour of the area and learned so much about what lawyers do.
Debi Arach had a special visit from the Armenian EyeCare Project. They performed 19 eye exams for students who exhibited sight problems, 12 of which will be fitted for glasses. Thank you Armenian EyeCare Project!
The Debi Arach Children's Center and as well as the Assarian Vocational Training Program have temporarily closed due to Covid-19 following the order of the Prime Minister and until further notice. We are dedicated to providing consistent meals, psychological support, and structured in-home learning to the youth. Although the facility is currently closed, we are working hard to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of all students and staff. We have also committed to continue paying our staff during the closure. We are working closely with our on-staff psychologist, who is checking in with the kids each week to help them navigate their lives during this challenging time. We want to make sure the students still receive consistent, adequate nutrition so we are providing food packages for all families of Debi Arach with guidelines on safety protocols for receiving and cleaning the items.