BERKELEY, CA—The Paros Foundation has successfully reached it goal of implementing 100 special projects in Armenia through its 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity initiative with the launch of the Debi Arach Children’s Center in Armenia’s second largest city, Gyumri. The 100 for 100 effort was launched in the fall of 2011 to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide by implementing 100 educational, development, humanitarian and cultural projects in Armenia and Artsakh.
“Helping address the many needs Armenia has through our project based model of philanthropy both made sense and offered sponsors around the world an opportunity to mark the centennial by making Armenia a better place,” said Peter Abajian, Executive Director of the Paros Foundation. “I am so proud that our Debi Arach Children’s Center marks the 100th project and culmination of our 100 for 100 initiative.”
Children who live in extreme poverty in Gyumri, often without proper guidance and supervision, are at risk of becoming so called “social orphans.” They literally spend time in and out of Gyumri’s orphanages. The Debi Arach Children’s Center (Debi Arach means “moving forward” in Armenian) helps these socially vulnerable children. Using a holistic approach, the Center provides the necessary academic, psychological, social and humanitarian support to 130 students weekly, giving them an opportunity for a bright future by breaking the cycle of poverty for this community.
The Center, which operates after school, provides counseling and group therapy with a psychologist on staff, homework help and tutoring for many of the subjects the children learn in school including English, Armenian, Math and Art/Design. In addition computer classes, educational excursions and guest presenters provide exciting extracurricular learning opportunities for these children, free of charge, in a safe, warm and comfortable environment.
Additionally, these children often suffer from malnutrition and related illnesses due to a lack of well-balanced meals. The Center provides each child with a nutritious meal everyday, helping them receive the calories and/or nutrients they need. The Center also 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.
“Now that we reached our goal, I am excited for our model of project based philanthropy to continue into the future through our Projects for Prosperity initiative,” said Peter Abajian.
The Paros Foundation would like to recognize the following donors whose very generous support underwrote major components of the center: Ani Vartanian Boladian & Rasmig Boladian, The Dadourian Foundation, Developmental Services for Armenia, Knights of Vartan, Ardaz Lodge. Please visit www.parosfoundation.org for a full list of Debi Arach Children Center contributors.
Proceeding into the future, the Debi Arach Children’s Center aims to add a preschool program targeting children ages three to five. In addition, it hopes to expand its services by adding a vocational training center for children who do not intend on pursuing a college career. Funding is needed for both of these future possibilities.
The Paros Foundation underwrote all administrative expenses so that 100% of contributions were allocated to this project. To help this effort or another project of the Paros Foundation’s Projects for Prosperity, please visit www.parosfoundation.org.