In 2016, Artsakh suffered unprecedented violence as Azerbaijan launched unprovoked assaults along its eastern border. This escalation has been known as the “April War” or “Four-Day War.”
As Armenians responded worldwide, the Foundation launched a crowdfunding campaign to help those directly affected, and to restore damaged, war-torn areas. Within a month, we raised over $75,000, which we allocated to three sub-projects: a) emergency medical assistance, b) house renovation for those affected, and c) promotion of balanced media response. Below we present the house renovation efforts:
At first, we sought to rebuild and repair various buildings damaged by the war. However, upon seeing the large number of people injured during this last escalation, we decided to focus on the houses of wounded soldiers. Many of the injured soldiers do not have homes, and if they do, the homes are in desperate need of repair. Due to their war-related injuries, most of these soldiers are not able to work, nor repair or purchase their homes.
After consulting with the NKR Defense Ministry, we confirmed this approach and set down to work. Within weeks, we visited the homes of numerous injured soldiers and interviewed them to determine the extent of their injuries and the cost of either repairing their homes or buying new ones.
Next, we renovated the house of Varujan Sahakyan – another April War hero. Varujan is 43 years old and, before his injuries, served in the special forces. He was badly wounded in the Martuni region. Varujan is married with three children. Their house was in very bad shape despite Varujan’s efforts to renovate it before the war. And now, with Varujan’s new health problems and financial difficulties, the family had completely given up hope. We were surprised and delighted to learn that Varujan’s life had been saved by Vachakan Vardazaryan, our other beneficiary (above).
House renovation is only a part of what we do: we also help those who don’t own a roof to live under. Recently, we purchased a large house in Martakert city for two brothers, Eduard and Erik Matevosyan, who were both injured in the April War.
Next, we had the honor to support Samvel Mejlumyan, who fought and was wounded during the Artsakh liberation war in the early nineties. In addition to renovating his house, the Foundation performed adaptations to ensure that it is wheelchair-accessible.
Finally, to give a home to the 10th wounded soldier — Mher Araqelyan — we launched a crowdfunding campaign at the end of 2017. With generous donations from 109 individuals, we have reached our fundraising goal and will soon give a home to this family. You can learn about Mher's story here.