In 2013, after many years of serving the Metsamor community as a local branch of another organization (Zangakatun NGO), the Family and Community center registered as a separate NGO. This was not only the start of a new organization, but also the first step towards an alternative model of child-focused community support in the country. Launched with a small team and a big dream, the organization now serves more than 300 children in 3 communities of Armenia.
Last week, the Family and Community team reached a new milestone - a new center was opened in Armavir, a community that suffers from widespread poverty, a high unemployment rate, scarce opportunities and a lack of public and private investment.
The opening of the new center was announced on May 11, during a launch event in Armavir. The Tufenkian Foundation has supported the Family and Community NGO since its very launch, and we are beyond thrilled to help it grow and expand.
Based on the child protection and service provision model of the centers in Metsamor, Ijevan and Noyemberyan, the new center will provide essential community services aimed at poverty alleviation and social reintegration of marginalized families and children. This will be done through a combination of social and psychological support and counseling, educational support, after-school programs, daycare services and social rehabilitation (including for juvenile delinquents).
In addition to these services, the center will carry out a range of programs aimed at fostering community participation and socialization of vulnerable children through various art classes, language lessons, theater and music groups, craft workshops, etc., as well as social clubs for their parents and guardians.
But more importantly, the center will work to give hope and new opportunities to disadvantaged children and families and help them escape the vicious cycle of poverty, unemployment, dependency and isolation. The center will provide a unique safe space for children to play, learn, grow and make friends. Through various classes and programs, the children will also acquire skills and knowledge valued in today's job market, thus ensuring that they leave the center ready to build independent and fulfilling lives.
Following the practice of centers in Metsamor, Ijevan and Noyemberyan, the newly launched center will closely cooperate with local government bodies, schools, police departments, as well as relevant cultural and educational institutions to ensure the effectiveness of its services. The specialists of the center will also contribute their expertise to the development of child-oriented legislation, policies and plans on local, regional and national levels, thus fostering a more enabling legal environment for child protection in Armenia.
The Family and Community NGO was established as a joint program of the Tufenkian Foundation, Armenian Apostolic Church – Armavir Diocese, WCC Armenia Round Table Foundation, UMCOR and PH International. Learn more here.
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