Artsakh has undergone tremendous transformation during the past years. Stepanakert and Shushi have grown into dynamic cities. Houses, schools, hospitals and entire villages are being built and developed. Lands are being cultivated and jobs created all across Artsakh. While various organizations and funds working in the region play a significant role in these processes, the real champions of this development are the soldiers of the Self Defense Forces of Artsakh. Without their everyday sacrifice and bravery none of these would be possible.
However, due to the ongoing conflict, it is often the soldiers of Artsakh who find themselves in need of urgent support. Such was the situation in early April 2016, when the unprecedented escalation of violence by the Azerbaijani troops along the entire length of the line of contact lead to the Four Day War.
In response to this unprovoked aggression, the Tufenkian Foundation launched a crowdfunding campaign to help people affected by the escalation and to restore the war-torn houses and institutions. After starting the campaign, we discovered that many soldiers injured during the war had no homes or lived in houses or apartments that were in desperate need of renovations and repairs. Moreover, due to their injuries, most of these soldiers were unable to work to repair their homes or purchase new houses. This is why we initiated a project aiming at the renovation and reconstruction of houses of wounded soldiers of Artsakh.
Varujan Sahakyan is one of the soldiers we had the honor to support. A hero of the four-day war, Varujan served in the special forces and was badly wounded in the Martuni region.
Not long ago, Varujan, his wife and their three children lived in a house that needed major renovations. Varujan could not afford to renovate it before the war even though he had started doing some patch work here and there. After he was injured, health issues and financial hardship made it especially difficult for Varujan and his family to look after their house and continue the renovation.
In late 2016, the Tufenkian Foundation decided to help this brave man and his family to finish the renovation of their house. Work on his house started late last year and the house was completed in mid-April 2017. Together with our guests from the Armenian Diaspora, who were on a visit to Artsakh during April 3-6, we visited Varujan and his family to meet them and take a look at the newly renovated house.
In addition to the visitors from abroad and representatives of the Tufenkian Foundation, neighbors, local officials and Varujan’s fellow soldiers and officers were there to celebrate the housewarming with his beautiful family.
As planned, the house was repaired and renovated entirely. Improvements were made to all parts of the house in order to ensure a dignified living space for the family.
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