Social Services & Emergency Response Program
This is where FAR’s work began more than 30 years ago. When an earthquake devastated the country, those who eventually became the founders of this organization immediately sprang into action to help, trying to meet the emergency needs of those in dire circumstances.
This year, Armenia faced two crises of a different kind and, once again, FAR jumped into action.
Social Services & Emergency Response Program Highlighted Beneficiary
In the time of quarantine, FAR soup kitchens became even more of a lifeline for many people, including Alvard and her three daughters, Gisane, 5, Astghik, 8, and Arpi, 10.
The single mother used to be an hourly worker before the pandemic. Even then it was difficult to make ends meet. In 2014, she and her family were accepted to attend the soup kitchen in Nor Hajn, where she learned to love the usual weekly dishes of borscht and chicken soup.
When COVID-19 ground life to a halt in Armenia, Alvard found herself struggling to find a job and then unemployed for several months. She said that the four of them would have gone hungry if not for the soup kitchen. During the pandemic she was able to pick up her prepared meals for take away.
“The soup kitchen has helped me a lot; I bring the food home and my daughters can have a decent dinner,” she said. “It’s a relief to know my daughters can have a hot meal on a daily basis.”
Emergency Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
FAR’s Emergency Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic provided several rounds of food packages, each of which covered one month’s worth of food, as well as hygiene kits, and masks, which reached nearly 5,000 people who found themselves either unemployed or financially impacted by the pandemic.
Artsakh Emergency Relief Project
FAR’s Artsakh Emergency Relief Project began assisting those displaced from Artsakh due to the war in early October, just days after violence began. Through its work, FAR placed priority on assisting women, children, and unaccompanied children, the elderly and injured soldiers at Yerevan hospitals through the provision of month-long supplies of food and hygiene packages, and other living essentials.
The rapidly organized and targeted emergency program distributed about 130 tons of supplies which reached nearly 16,000 people scattered throughout seven different provinces in Armenia, who were staying in 41 hotels, dormitories, or families.
In addition, more than 3,000 medical supplies were donated to medical centers and more than 3,000 hygiene supplies were given to wounded soldiers. Also, 1,600 children were given school supply packages to help them continue their educations in Armenia.
FAR also connected displaced communities with restaurants and other eating establishments that could prepare hot meals for them. The work continued week after week, with distribution of assistance to the most vulnerable, as well as more specific aid to those who need it, including baby kits, COVID-19 protection kits, beds and mattresses, and kitchen and other household supplies. FAR also made it possible to provide cash assistance, and utility reimbursement was also provided to those in need.
In addition, the New York Friends of Gavar Special School partnered with FAR to help support those who were displaced from Artsakh and temporarily housed in the Tsaghkadzor Sports Complex.
Our five soup kitchens in Yerevan, Nor Hajn, Berd, Byureghavan, and at the Gyumri Atinizian Senior Center continued as well, a vital service and source of food and nutrition for many who would otherwise go hungry without them. With the pandemic, we adapted our methods. Meals were packaged for takeaway. For the most vulnerable and elderly, meals were delivered door-to-door. For those without an easy way to transport their food, they were allowed to stay and eat but at their own table a safe distance from others.
Vanadzor Old Age Home
Vanadzor Old Age Home (VOAH) did an extraordinary job of protecting its 55 elderly residents during this trying year as it was the only elder care institution in Armenia to register zero cases of COVID-19 during the first phase of the pandemic, thanks to precautionary measures and its professional and attentive staff.
In addition, VOAH welcomed a couple seniors who were displaced for Artsakh during the war. Staff also focused on keeping residents emotionally and psychologically reassured during this time, thus prioritizing mental health as well in what is considered a true community for low-income seniors in need.
By the Numbers
Social Services & Emergency Response
people were provided with emergency assistance during COVID-19, including food, hygiene supplies, and masks.
tons of supplies distributed to nearly 16,000 people in Armenia who fled war in Artsakh.
hygiene supplies were given to wounded soldiers.
children were given school supply packages to help them continue their educations in Armenia thanks to Artsakh Emergency Relief
medical supplies were donated to medical centers for Artsakh War relief
low-income and vulnerable elderly supported by VOAH.
Social Services & Emergency Response
Aram & Anna Ohanyan Adourian
Ararat & Sonya Hacet Foundation
Armenian Engineers & Scientists of America (AESA)
Arthur K. Atinizian
Avedis & Arsho Baghsarian Fund
Carl & Linda Bazarian
Darren P. Atesian
Dennis & Linda Tarzian
George & Anna Derderian Charitable Fund
Dr. Kevork & Alvina Niksarli
Dr. Richard & Sonya Nersessian Babayan
Dr. Robert & Gail Bedoukian
Harold & Josephine Gulamerian Foundation
Howard & Catherine Atesian Family Foundation
Karnig & Karen Durgarian
Kevork & Sirvart Karamanuk Foundation
Knights of Vartan
Levon & Selma Margosian Fund
Nazarian Family Foundation, Inc.
Nishan & Margarit Atinizian Family Foundation
Norman K. Miller Charitable Fund
Peter David & Myrna Sarafian Onanian
St. Gregory Enlightener Church
St. James Armenian Church
St. Mary Armenian Church
Sts. Joachim & Anne Armenian Church
Sts. Sahag & Mesrob Armenian Church
Sunday Schools of the Eastern Diocese
The Barsamian-Dadourian Familly Fund
Toufayan Bakeries, Inc.
Vartabedian Family Foundation
Women's Guild Central Council