Assarian Vocational Training Program 2021/2022
The Paros Foundation established the Debi Arach Children’s Center in Gyumri, Armenia on April 15, 2015. The center, which provides over 180 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.
In 2016, Debi Arach launched their vocational training program at the center in order to provide young adults with a set of skills and tools they will need to secure gainful employment and help break their family’s cycle of poverty. Students participate in their choice of several programs including computer programing classes using a curriculum developed by the Union of Information Technology Enterprises, 3D printing and related software and programming, and computer repairs – both hardware and software. In 2019, additional vocational options was added to the program including instruction for cosmetologists, hair stylists, make up artists and manicurists and the eventual launch of the Hianali Beauty Center. The salon is run as a social enterprise open to the public for services as well as training classes for students. Furthermore, vocational courses are also offered at Digital Pomegranate and the Lentex Textile Factory, both located in Gyumri.
In 2019, the vocational training program was renamed Assarian Vocational Training Program in honor of the Dr. Gary and Linda Assarian Family Foundation, whose generous donations underwrite the vocational training programs.
Sponsorship towards this project will help run the vocational programs in Gyumri, including staff wages and supplies. The goal is to help hundreds of people develop a vision for a successful future, and to give them the skills they need to reach these goals.