Ayo! started in 2013 to help Armenians take the power of change into their own hands. Through the support of locally-designed and initiated development projects in Armenia, which aim to surmount challenges in any number of areas—from public health to education to gender equality to psychosocial support—FAR works with local partners to carry out each project at the highest standards.
Ayo! ran five successful campaigns during 2020, and raised $204,678 from 621 donors, 394 of whom were first-time donors.
The two largest campaigns sought to counter the negative impacts of COVID-19 and the Artsakh War, with the others focused on women’s livelihoods and empowerment, and art therapy.
Ayo! Highlighted Beneficiary
Roitman Galstyan and his two sons, Mikhayil, 8, and Haykaz, 7, fled their home in Martakert when the war started in Artsakh and sought temporary shelter in Yerevan.
After the ceasefire, Roitman decided to go back to their house in Artsakh where he found it had been looted; even the doors and windows were gone.
Roitman, a single father, and his kids did not receive any financial assistance from the government when they lost their house since Martakert was not part of the territories given to Azerbaijan. As a result, his entire pension, about 50,000 AMD (or $100) per month, was his sole source of income.
By the time the Ayo! team was connected with him, Roitman and his sons had been living in a Yerevan apartment without electricity for more than two weeks and were without food. Ayo! immediately organized the delivery of a food package for the following day, which was enough for a month.
Ayo! team members, on their own initiative, also organized a crowdfunding campaign on Facebook to raise money to pay Roitman’s electricity bill for three months so that the family would have heating and power again.
In addition, Haykaz, who suffers from asthma, was also provided with asthma medication, its cost covered by the portion of Ayo!’s project which pays for more than eight months’ worth of asthma medication for 140 children from Artsakh.
Soon, Roitman plans to return to Martakert and start a new life again from scratch.
COVID-19 Emergency Fundraising Campaign
Ayo!’s COVID-19 Emergency Fundraising Campaign provided assistance to people who suffered from job and/or income losses as a result of COVID-19, as well as those who were in dire need of help during the pandemic. The campaign, which raised a total of $117,458 over the course of eight months and was Ayo!’s largest to date, enabled Ayo! to distribute 30,000 kg of food parcels and hygiene supplies to every region of Armenia.
In addition, 36,585 pieces of personal protective equipment were distributed to health clinics, and the necessary materials were provided for 20,000 PCR tests to be made available to the most vulnerable via the Ministry of Health. Ayo! worked with local partners including SOS Children’s Villages Armenia, De Jpta, Aregak Bakery in Gyumri.
We Are Artsakh
We Are Artsakh provided immediate response to the overwhelming and urgent needs of those displaced by Artsakh’s horrible war during the fall of 2020. The project, which closed in 2021, raised a total of $95,000 which impacted nearly 4,000 people who had fled violence in Artsakh. The project enabled distribution of 800 packages of food and hygiene supplies, 600 electric heaters, and 1,110 bedding sets to the most vulnerable affected by the pandemic.
In addition, $30,902 was spent on eight month’s-worth of medication for 140 children from Artsakh with asthma, as well as warm winter clothing for 30 children from Berdzor and Stepanakert orphanages. Ayo! partnered with SOS Children Villages Armenia, Focus on Children Now, Armenian Fund for Sustainable Development, and Arabkir Medical Center on the project.
Shuhel supported women survivors of domestic and sexual abuse to find paths to empowerment. By partnering with the Women’s Resource Center of Armenia, which started discussion groups for women who were recovering from abuse or deprivation or other troubles, Shuhel helped to expand the project to provide the women involved in these groups with skills and support, such as better self-management, entrepreneurial skills, and counseling, all of which empowers them to start to move forward in their lives.
Therapy House for Adult Orphans with Disabilities
Therapy House for Adult Orphans with Disabilities provided money for renovations and new furnishing for the therapy house run by the Jermik Ankyun Foundation (JAF), an organization that supports group houses for adult orphans with special needs. After opening up a third group house in Geghanist Village, a lack of funding stalled a project to create an activity and therapy center, for which this project covered the cost.
The annual Ayo! Chocolate Bank project intertwined with We Are Artsakh and brought 459 packages of chocolate to children in need from Artsakh for Christmas. Families were those who had resettled in Yerevan and other regions who were living in dorms, hotels or with host families.
By the Numbers
raised for Ayo!’s COVID-19 Emergency Fundraising Campaign, which enabled distribution of 30,000 kg of food and hygiene supplies; 36,585 pieces of PPEs; and materials for 20,000 PCR tests.
children from Artsakh received 8 month’s-worth of asthma medication from We Are Artsakh.
raised through We Are Artsakh, which helped nearly 4,000 people fleeing war with 800 packages food and hygiene supplies, 600 electric heaters, and 1,110 bedding sets.
children received gifts from Ayo!’s Chocolate Bank.