Orphan and Child Care
Directly after the devastating earthquake in Armenia in 1988, the AMAA initiated and supported various relief programs in Armenia, providing basic necessities of normal life to people, including orphans and needy children.
The AMAA continues to operate and support a number of orphan and child care programs in Armenia, such as:
1. An Orphan/Child Care Sponsorship Program through which the AMAA reaches out to over 1600 destitute and marginalized orphans and children of Armenia and Karabagh. Through regular year-round home visits by AMAA’s local relief workers, the sponsored children and their families are supplied with funds to help them purchase life necessities such as foodstuffs, clothing, personal hygiene items and school supplies and pay for winter heating. Children are matched with sponsors who receive the photographs of the children, with information about their circumstances and their families. The sponsorship of a child in Armenia is $300 per year. In addition, sponsored children receive financial assistance for medical and dental care. They attend summer camp and participate in Christmas events with gift boxes of 20 items (stationary, toys, and other items of interest to children). They receive the quarterly Shogh children’s publication – educational stories, games and puzzles.
2. AMAA operates a school and several kindergartens both in Armenia and Karabagh, such as the Khoren and Shoushanig Avedisian School in Yerevan, the Baghdikian Kindergarten in Stepanakert, Karabagh, the Bilezikian Kindergarten in Shoushi, Karabagh, the Janbazian Kindergarten in Martakert, Karabagh, and a Kindergarten in Askeran, Kharabagh,. Hundreds of children, including orphans, receive high quality education, nutritious meals and loving care in the clean and comfortable atmosphere of these AMAA-owned childcare institutions.
3. The Armenian Children’s Milk Fund (ACMF) is yet another AMAA affiliated child care ministry. The ACMF was created in 1989 to fill one specific, vital nutritional need-to provide baby formula to infants in Armenia who are orphaned or ill, or whose mothers are unable to breastfeed and whose families are unable to purchase formula. It provides a sustaining nutritional program to 500 babies annually in several cities in Armenia.
4. Summer Camps in Armenia and Karabagh. These camps are organized and operated by the AMAA. This is a very important child-care ministry, which offers underprivileged and undernourished children the opportunity to spend 7 days in a supervised camp environment. During their stay, the children participate in sports and arts and crafts activities. They associate with other children in their age group, and enjoy nutritious meals and snacks, a comfortable bed and fresh air. They also learn about their Christian heritage and about Jesus Christ. The camp doctor also gives a physical exam to each child. The camps provide a welcome change from the hardships and privations that these children endure throughout the rest of the year. More than 5,000 children participate in AMAA’s Day and Day/Night camps.
5. “Shogh” Educational Day Centers. The “Shogh” Educational Day Centers (Yerevan, Vanadzor, Shushi) aim to support children who grow in socially underserved families. The project’s main objective is to help children overcome educational difficulties, grow personally, prevent their antisocial behavior and become a part of an educated and healthy society. Highly qualified and experienced professionals such as tutors, social workers and psychologists provide social, educational, psychological, and entertainment services to nearly 290 school-age children.
- Education and training /elementary school subjects, English and Russian language classes, art-therapy
- Social work /group and individual meetings
- Psychological /psycho-therapeutic group and individual meetings
- Hot meals
- Recreational /summer camps, excursions, cultural events, etc.
Children attend the Center after school, eat a hot meal, and then participate in different classes. Children and parents receive psychological and social worker services to address personal and family problems.
Center also provides group and individual meetings to parents /psychologist, social worker.
The Centers and Community
The centers operate in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Issues of RA and the local self-government bodies.
6. Tutorial Centers. The AMAA runs 6 Tutorial Centers in Gyumri, Goris, Yerevan, Vanadzor, Alaverdi and Dilijan, where about 130 children receive tutorial services, Christian Education and learn life skills.
The AMAA Tutorial Centers provide the following services:
- Armenian, Mathematics, English, Russian language tutorials
- Christian Education
- Individual and group social work with children
- Parental skills training for parents
- Life skills training for children
- Drawing/painting, crafts and singing classes for children
- Hot meals and snacks