Ararat Avanesyan was one of the first freedom fighters to voluntarily join the Artsakh Liberation War of the early 90s. 25 years ago, at the age of twenty two, he was heavily wounded in the field of battle, losing one leg and facing a number of health difficulties since. Now, with his wife and 3 teenage daughters, he lives in Artsakh's Askeran region, in a small village called Patara.
Until recently, his beautiful family had no home of their own and had to take up residence in relatives' homes. After risking his life and sacrificing his health for the freedom of our homeland, Ararat faced financial struggles and lived in housing conditions that were detrimental to the safety and well-being of his family. Like many of his brothers in arms who found themselves in a similar situation after the war, Ararat's injuries made him unable to work to purchase a new home. As a result, his family endured homelessness for many years.
But not any longer.
It is due to the courage and sacrifice of soldiers like Ararat that our homeland is now free. Supporting these soldiers is an essential duty for all of us, with which we express our everlasting gratitude to the brave sons of Artsakh.
This is the 9th housewarming celebrated in Artsakh in the framework of our Housing for Wounded Soldiers initiative. Aimed at supporting soldiers in difficult housing situations, the initiative was launched in April 2016, in response to the Four Day War. Since then, with funds raised during the 2016 emergency appeal and through additional support from individual donors, 9 houses have been built, reconstructed or purchased for Artsakh's wounded soldiers.
Though initially intended to support soldiers of the April War, the project was later expanded to include Artsakh's wounded soldiers with urgent housing needs, regardless of which war they were injured in. Avanesyan is the 3rd soldier of the 90s Liberation War to benefit from the project. The geography of the project was also expanded during the past 2 years, ranging from large towns like Stepanakert and Hadrut to small, remote villages in Artsakh's borderlands.
We are grateful to the New York St. Illuminator Cathedral's Zarukian Fund and Ralph Yirikian, General Manager of VivaCell-MTS, for helping us make one more family's dream come true. This support inspires us to continue our efforts with added commitment and dedication.
What is Kashatagh? Formerly known as Lachin, it is Artsakh's largest region, the vital land-bridge that connects Artsakh to Armenia, making them effectively one. After 70 years of Azerbaijani rule, this historically Armenian province was liberated in the early nineties. Today, the region is being actively resettled and offers new life to Armenian families.read More
Papag Stepanyan, together with his family of five, lives in the Van village of Southern Kashatagh, where he resettled in 1998. All this time, the family has lived in very poor housing conditions. This is about to change.read More
Meet Tatevik Sargsyan, Vahe Azizyan and Ararat Sahakyan – 3 young specialists from Armenia who are currently in Artsakh with the mission to explore new development prospects for the local bee-keeping, honey-production and related spheres.read More
A deep connection to the land, a strong sense of community and simplicity of living – this is what life in these villages is all about. We spent the past few days in some of the most remote villages of Artsakh, talking to people and hearing their stories. These villages are where the Armenian world starts, it is where Armenian life starts, and we think it is important for each of us to learn about the people who live here. Very soon, we will share with you the stories we have been fortunate to collect here. But for now, enjoy these images of village life in two of Artsakh’s liberated districts – Kashatagh and Hadrut.read More