Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
These are just three stories. Over the span of 100 years of AMAA’s commitment to education, there are thousands more to tell. Education has always been a core component of AMAA’s mission. Not only is it key to improving the lives of those served, it preserves the proud Armenian heritage, and prepares tomorrow’s leaders. Part of the current Centennial Campaign is a $1 million goal to support the Armenian Evangelical Schools in Lebanon with the newly established “Armenian Evangelical Schools of Lebanon – Papken & Helen Mugrditchian Endowment Fund.” This particular endowment fund has a special matching gift challenge extended to all supporters and friends. Donations received will be matched by an Anonymous Donor, up to a $1,000,000. Gifts are effectively doubled! This new endowment fund will preserve much needed educational opportunities offered to a diverse group of students in the school the AMAA serves in Lebanon.
The Armenian Evangelical churches have always been pioneers in establishing quality schools and supporting education. Soon after the 1918 Armenian Genocide, the survivors who took refuge in the shanty camps of Aleppo, Syria and Beirut, Lebanon, were helped by the AMAA with establishing Kindergartens and elementary schools. The AMAA played a very significant role by finding resources to purchase properties and build schools, provide scholarships, and meet urgent needs created by the political storms that passed over the Middle East.
Today, the Armenian Evangelical Community of Lebanon boasts four secondary (K-12) schools: Armenian Evangelical College of Beirut, the Armenian Evangelical Central High School of Ashrafieh, the Armenian Evangelical Shamlian Tatigian Secondary School of Nor Marash in Bourj Hammoud, and the Armenian Evangelical Secondary School of Anjar, and one middle school – the Armenian Evangelical P & E Torossian School of Nor Amanos in Bourj Hammoud. All of these schools depend on the AMAA’s Child Support programs. Despite the political storms in the country, these schools have maintained their quality of education, their spiritual and moral orientation and have a good track record in passing government exams.
Open to all Armenian students, regardless of denominational belonging or political affiliation, these schools have produced thousands of well-educated and enlightened graduates who have gone on to make a good living or continue their education and become professionals and good citizens in countries all over the world. Here are a few examples of current students.
Boghos, an excellent student from the Armenian Evangelical College (AEC) says, “I like to express my gratitude to the place that played an essential role in my life and provided me with the resources and wings to fly away. The trace of the AEC mentality, ideology, and doctrine shall be evident in my every step and action wherever I am.” Boghos participated in the competition of the United World Colleges (UWC) and won a full scholarship to attend the prestigious UWC Dilijan International College.
Hovig’s family was one of the first families to arrive in Beirut from Aleppo fleeing the country’s civil war. The Armenian Evangelical Shamlian Tatigian School helped the family settle and accepted all three children and provided tuition for them. Hovig, a very bright student who graduated in May 2017, comments on his future plans. “I am grateful that Shamlian Tatigian School welcomed us and prepared me to attend University. I want to major in Biology and later enter the medical field.”
Rita, an exceptional 11th grade student at the Armenian Evangelical Central High School (CHS), scored the highest average in governmental Brevet exams among all Armenian schools. Rita also won second prize in the Armenian History for Secondary students contest as well as in “Al-Bayan” Arabic Essay Writing Contest. “At CHS my abilities have flourished both in academics and in extracurricular activities,” says Rita. “My teachers have taught me much more than the curriculum; they have challenged me to grow and be my best self.”