World Water Day at “Green School”

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March 22 marks the Water Day. It is an international observance where people in different parts of the world, demonstrate their concern, through organized events, regarding environmental problems of our planet and want to be part of a change in global policies and help make a difference.

This year’s theme “better water, better jobs” focuses on the vital importance of the 1.5 billion people who work in water related sectors and the connection those in that workforce which ensures its safe delivery.

The Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian School’s «Οίκος» Club (which focuses on the importance of environmental education), jointly with the 8th graders, presented an interesting presentation to illustrate that drinking water supplies are not inexhaustible, and we must use them with care and not pollute.

The Club’s members presented a short video clip about the vital importance of water, how human activities affect the destruction and reduction of water reserves, as well as practical tips for saving water was recommended.

The eight graders, with wit and humor, through the “Assembly of Mice” play, discussed the above issues.

The Avedisian School students challenge everyone to save water while helping Mother Nature and ourselves.

Hackensack Rotary Club awards grant for Child Care Programs in Armenia

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Rotary Club of Hackensack, NJ, at a luncheon held on Thursday, March 24, awarded the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) a $2000 grant for AMAA’s child care projects in Armenia. Just like the past years’ awards, this grant will again help many children under the care of AMAA’s Child Sponsorship Program with various needs of urgent medical care, and also help some children attend Summer Camps.

David Aynejian, Director of Finance of AMAA attended this luncheon and accepted the check on behalf of the Association. Mr. Aynejian thanked the Hackensack Rotary Club for their continuous support of AMAA’s child care programs in Armenia.

The AMAA thanks Mr. Serge Krikorian for helping to raise these funds for our needy children in Armenia.

Debate Club of the Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian School Participates in Debate Held at the American Center in Yerevan

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On March 23, the Avedisian School Debate Club participated in a debate with the theme “Armenia and Turkey have a common future,” held at the American Center in Yerevan, Armenia. The Avedisian School Debate Club competed against 198 other high school debate clubs.

The judges of the debate were Mr. Richard Mills, US Ambassador to Armenia and «The Beautified Project» band singer Andre Simonyan.

During the competition a direct connection was established among members of the debate clubs of Charentsavan, Kapan, Meghri, Vanadzor and Gyumri schools. After the debate, the students engaged in a question and answer session with the Singer and the Ambassador.

At the end of the competition, all those who were present had the opportunity to watch the new video of “The Beautiful Project” by Andre Simonyan and Armenian Turkish singer Sibil with the cooperation of Turkish musicians.

Ambassador Mills stated that he was pleasantly surprised by the persuasive speech and debating skills of Avedisian School students and congratulated them, and the Captain of the Debate Club Arevig Khachadourian, for their achievements.

AMA-Armenia Part of NGO Consortium

martuni7AMAA Participates in Unprecedented Cooperation for Martuni Village, Armenia

On the occasion of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, AMA-Armenia took the initiative to coordinate the formation of a Consortium of 6 NGOs (AMA-Armenia, Development Principles, “Shen” Charity NGO, World Vision Armenia, COAF, Fund for Armenia Relief) to join efforts in support of Martuni Village, in the Republic of Armenia.

The Village, located in the north-eastern part of the Gegharkunik Region, on the southern shores of Lake Sevan, was founded in 1921 and its first inhabitants were Genocide survivors, mostly from Van, Alashkert, Kars and Sasun who had emigrated. The Village is 132 kilometers from Yerevan.
On March 4, 2016, these organizations and two new partners, Teach for Armenia and the Armenia Round Table of the World Council of Churches (WCC), visited Martuni to evaluate and review the work of the past year which included:
  • COAF financed the renovation of the health post of the Martuni community.
  • World Vision presented their newly formed Engineering Club and its newly acquired Robotics lab of the school.
  • “Shen” NGO showed the new Village website (www.martunigyugh.am) which presents the history of the Village, current conditions and a project which was also financed by Shen; the installation of water pipes providing drinking water for most of the villagers.
  • AMA-Armenia helped the villagers acquire 2 brand new tractors and 10 gasoline powered harvesters.  These will help villagers harvest hay to feed their cattle during the winter months and also cultivate their lands.
  • FAR presented scholarships to Martuni Village high school students.
  • Development Principles granted 13 pregnant cows to low income families within the community.
  • AMA-Armenia partnered with Teach for Armenia to send a well-trained teacher to teach IT courses and help students develop leadership skills.
  • The Partners also visited the computer lab which was provided by the WCC Armenian Round Table.
Representatives of each organization also met with community members and discussed various projects.  The community members were very appreciative for all the help provided to them and expressed their suggestions and thoughts.  All the villagers were excited and encouraged about the work that is being rendered by this consortium.
The mission of this partnership is to help increase the standard of living in Martuni and eventually help other villages.  This cooperation of different Armenian organizations is an example of how synergy multiplies the efforts of each individual organization.

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Martuni was formed in the 1920s by Genocide survivors.  It has no dialect of its own because it consisted of people from various parts of Western Armenia.  So, the only common language is literal Armenian.

AMAA Meets with U.S. Ambassador to Armenia in CA

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L to R: Dr. H. Steven Aharonian, former AMAA Board President, Levon Filian, AMAA West Coast Executive Director, Ambassador Richar M. Mills, Jr,  Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director/CEO and Dr. Nazareth Darakjian, AMAA Board President

On Tuesday, March 8, 2016, AMAA representatives attended a meeting with current U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Mr. Richard M. Mills Jr.

Accompanied by Mr. Jeffrey Paretchan, USAID Regional Alliance Contact for Europe & Eurasia, the March 8th meeting at the Brand Library and Arts Center in Glendale, CA was one in a series of Ambassador Mills’ meetings with various representatives of the Armenian-American community around the country.

AMAA representatives in attendance were: Dr. Nazareth Darakjian, AMAA Board President, Dr. H. Steven Aharonian, former AMAA Board President, Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director/CEO and Levon Filian, AMAA West Coast Executive Director.

The Ambassador shared plans and priorities for the advancement of the country. He was also interested to learn more about AMAA’s global ministry, especially in Armenia.

Among topics discussed were current events in Armenia, security matters, influx of Armenians from war torn Syria, freedom of speech and religion, plans for a stronger economy, and expand help to residents of bordering villages of Armenia.

The AMAA welcomes the new U.S. Ambassador, Mr. Mills to Armenia, wishes him great success, and thanks him for his keen interest in helping our Homeland with the participation of the Armenian leadership in the Diaspora.