Zorakan Village School Revitalization
In 2013, a Peace Crops volunteer first submitted the Zorakan village school as a potential Paros project. The school needs an extensive remodel. The school’s campus includes a large two story building which houses the While the Tavush regional government recently installed a new roof at the school, we need to complete the renovation. The scope of work includes installing a new heating system, new windows and doors in 14 classrooms, three new bathrooms (teachers, boys and girls), renovations throughout two hallways (upstairs and downstairs), new furniture, new flooring installation, paint and electrical work. The school will be renovated in two phases. Phase one will completely renovate the second floor and will include the installation of the heating system. The school campus also includes a second large building that use to house the gymnasium, but this building must be torn down and rebuilt due to structural problems. This project will focus only on the building which houses the classrooms.
The remote village of Zorakan located in Armenia’s Tavush region has a population of about 1,000 people. It was populated by Azeris until 1988 and had a different name, Verin Kerpilu. During an armed conflict, the Azeri population fled the village and Armenian refuges from Azerbaijan were placed in the village. At the time, the entire village population was refugees from Azerbaijan; they later changed the name to Zorakan in honor of two marshals from their home village Chardakhlu. There are approximately 270 households, most of the villagers cannot find work outside their homes and survive by making a living from their land, from their gardens and fruit trees. Some of the husbands (and single men) find work in Russia and are gone much of the year, leaving their wives to raise the families. There are 135 children who attend the secondary school along with 26 teachers and technical workers. Along with the school, the village has a mayor’s office, a post office, four small stores, a health post and a culture house.
The budget to renovate and furnish this two story building of the school is $125,000.
Phase one efforts will include renovations to the second floor classrooms hallway. Funding for phase one is $55,000. Second phase work will be determined based on the response from the government regarding their participation.
Children cannot achieve their greatest potential attending classes in substandard classrooms. A renovated, safe and warm environment will allow students to study in a clean, healthy and appropriate atmosphere.
Short Term Impact
Local villagers will be employed during the renovation project. In addition, the school will be able to provide a safe environment for the children.
Long Term Impact
A proper facility for students to learn in will help these village children reach their fullest potential. The growing student population at the school, their teachers and other school workers will take pride in the fact that people care about them and their school
All sponsors will be recognized with a plaque installed at the school. In addition, donors will be recognized on all relevant press regarding this project and on The Paros Foundation website. Visits to the Zorakan School will be arranged for sponsors visiting Armenia.
Mr. & Mrs. Michael & Linda CirellBeverly Hills, CA
Mr. & Mrs. Richard & Kathy MouradjianFountain Hills, AZ
Mr. Hrastan TopalianUnited Kingdom
Dr. & Mrs. Jack & Marie SaroyanSan Francisco, CA
AnonymousState College, PA
Mr. & Mrs. Michael & Joyce KaishianBrookfield, WI
Following negotiations with the educational office of the Tavush regional governor, new windows for the second floor were delivered today as their contribution towards this important project, and the reconstruction of the second floor of the Zorakan School has begun.
The new boilers have been delivered and installed. Sassoun, our heating specialist has also installed the new heating pipes and radiators, and has pressured tested the entire system. Now the village administration will work with the gas company to move the gas pipes to the new location within the school as part of their contribution to this important project.
Our work crew is making excellent progress on installing the sub floors and continuing work on the electric and walls.
The first day of school welcomed students and staff into several of the renovated classrooms on the second floor. Everyone is excited! Thank you to all the donors thus far that helped make this phase one renovation possible.
As part of our Journey through Armenia trip, participants visited the school in Zorakan. They were so moved by the students and staff, and need to continue this renovation, that several in the group immediately committed to supporting the renovation of the boys and girls bathroom.
Work on the two bathrooms at the Zorakan school began now that funding is available!
With the school year complete, our construction crew began work on the first floor, entryways and stairwells.
Our SERVICE Armenia participants came to volunteer at the school and worked on several of the classrooms, stairwell and hallway.
Work on the inside of the Zorakan school is now completed. When the weather permits, our crew will do some repairs and pave the exterior entryway of the school.
Work has begun to pave the exterior of the school and repair the badly damaged stairs that lead to the village