Berkeley, CA— With stay-at-home orders in place for communities throughout Armenia, The Paros Foundation has risen to the challenge of helping feed Armenia’s elderly, at-risk and impoverished populations.
In the Berd Consolidated Communities, which is comprised of 17 towns and villages in Armenia’s North Eastern border with Azerbaijan, The Paros Foundation responded to an urgent need for food packets to be distributed to 800 elderly and disabled residents in these communities. With financial support from the Armenian diaspora, Paros staff quickly contracted with food suppliers to get the food staples delivered to the Berd municipality where staff and volunteers coordinated this massive distribution effort. This process has been repeated twice to date.
When the spread of Covid-19 closed schools throughout Armenia, the staff at the Debi Arach Children’s Center took similar safety precautions and closed its doors temporarily. This, however, created another problem. Many of the children that attend this academically focused after school program count on the nutrition they receive as their main meal of the day. The Paros Staff worked closely with leadership at the Debi Arach Children’s Center to prepare and distribute food packets based on the number of children in each household to all the Debi Arach families. This process has been repeated twice to date.
“We launched the #FeedingArmenia campaign to immediately respond to this important need,” said Peter Abajian, Executive Director of The Paros Foundation. “Our next challenge is how to reopen and operate centers like Debi Arach in a safe and effective manner, while staying true to its core mission. While this challenge presents itself to every organizations, I am proud of the fact that our team is already engaged in these discussions and planning.”
In the town of Nor Geghi, the mayor led an effort to provide food support for his town’s elderly and at risk population. With support from the Nor Keghi Association and its Detroit-based leadership and members, 25 families in need received a large food pack to support them for approximately one month.
Armenia’s current stay-at-home order is slowly being lifted, and the hope is that the virus will not spread, but it is unclear when the need for #FeedingArmenia will cease. While much still remains uncertain, one thing is becoming clearer—Armenia will reopen to a new reality. Masks, greater personal space and distancing and enhanced personal hygiene will all become part of Armenia’s future. To support #FeedingArmenia, or other projects of The Paros Foundation, please visit www.parosfoundation.org.