Empowerment for Women: Catering & Food Design
Border villages in Armenia, such as those in the Tavush region, are plagued with economic hardships and unemployment. These villages have very few options for employment (agriculture, teaching and few municipal positions) and do not have the means to seek training for new professions. For this reason, many of the residents (mainly men) flee to Russia to find employment and stable income. This leaves many women alone in their communities, without a profession and dependent on their husbands/fathers/brothers to send them money from abroad.
With support from The Paros Foundation, two professional training programs in the hairdressing services, manicure tech, makeup and cosmetology have already been successfully implemented. In order to expand the range of opporunities and offer additional viable employment solutions for these women new training courses will be offered in Catering & Food Design and Balloon Decoration. Both of these skills are in high demand since there are limited services for wedding celebrations, anniversaries, high school graduation parties, kindergarten and other events held in several border villages. Currently, village residents turn to businesses in nearby cities for these needs which can be expensive or simply unaffordable for rural community residents.
A benefit of this project is to ensure the villagers can benefit from the services offered to them locally and at an affordable price. Sponsorship is needed in order to fund classes for women from 10 border villages including: Barekamavan, Koti, Voskevan, Voskepar, Baghanis, Djuyevan, Dovegh, Koghb, Berdavan and Zorakan. 18 women will have the opportunity to participate in one of the two classes for the duration of two months, twice a week for tw0-hour class periods.
10 women will be enrolled in the Catering & Food Design classes. In addition to designing students will be taught how to make salads and hors d’oeuvres. The food will be made with fruits, vegetables, sausages, cheese, pastry, sweets, bread, etc. The fresh meals prepared during classes and special table setting and decoration days will be distributed to the local, non-governmental and childcare organizations for free. This will help avoid wasting the food and promoting their services.
Additionally, eight women will be enrolled in the balloon decoration classes. Participants in this course will likely be chosen border village kindergarten staff. It is often necessary to decorate the kindergarten halls, courtyard or rooms during celebrations. In such cases the parents usually raise a certain amount of money to sponsor the work of designers or decorators. The goal of this program is to teach the kindergarten personnel how to decorate for those special events, so that the decorating could be performed by a local expert.
Residents of border-region villages have very few options for employment (agriculture, teaching and few municipal positions) and do not have the means to seek training for new professions. For this reason, many of the residents (mainly men) travel abroad to find employment and a stable income. This leaves many women alone in their communities, without a profession and dependent on their husbands/fathers/brothers to send money from abroad.
Short Term Impact
In the short term, 18 women total from ten villages will participate in a two-month training program and obtain skills in Catering & Food Design and Balloon Decoration. They will also receive the proper tools needed to utilize their new skills in order to earn income. Furthermore, local, non-governmental and childcare organizations will be the recipients of food form relevant practice classes.
Long Term Impact
Over time, this project has the potential to help these women establish their own businesses, find financial stability for their families and better the economy of their communities. In addition, their success will help empower them through a new sense of independence and encourage them to one day help other women learn their set of skills.
All sponsors will be recognized on The Paros Foundation website. In addition, donors will be recognized on all relevant press regarding this project.
Mr. & Mrs. Martin & Suzanne BohigianClovis, CA
Ms. Lily Ring BalianLos Angeles, CA
Mr. & Mrs. Vartan & Takouhi HarmandianUnited Kingdom
Mr. & Mrs. Vartan & Takouhi HarmandianCampbell, CA
Ms. Arlene AaronianAltadena, CA
As part of their training, the students learned to make balloon art and paper and foam flowers for decorations in addition to preparing displaying tasty and attractive food.
Most of the trainees are now utilizing their new skills for special event decor and food preparation to earn money for their families.