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Ararat Avanesyan is 9th Wounded Soldier to Receive a Home from Tufenkian Foundation

13 March 2018

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.

Ararat Avanesyan (while living in a relatives' home).
 

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.

The Avanesyan family.
 
We met Ararat last Fall, and after learning about his situation, were determined to find a home for this most deserving family. Soon, with generous co-funding from Ralph Yirikian, General Manager of VivaCell-MTS, and the New York St. Illuminator Cathedral's Zarukian Fund recently established by Azaduhi Zarukian, we purchased a large house in Patara.
 

Construction in progress.
 
This was followed by months of reconstruction and repair works to ensure that the new house can provide a dignified living space for Ararat's family for many years to come. In addition to general improvements and renovations, a kitchen and a bathroom have been built. Also, through specific adjustments, we made sure that the house is adapted to Ararat's mobility needs (Ararat walks with crutches). As all construction efforts carried out by the Tufenkian Foundation, the repair works were entrusted to local workers from Artsakh.
 

Ararat Avanesyan and wife Karina cut the ribbon of their new home.
 
Today, after many years of dreaming of a home they could call their own, Ararat's family received keys to their new house. Together with Askeran Administration Head Sergey Grigoryan and Patara Village Mayor Karen Arzumanyan, we joined the family for a joyous housewarming. Addressing the guests, Tufenkian Foundation Executive Director Raffi Doudaklian said:

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.

The house after reconstruction and renovations.

 

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.

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