Various ARS Projects in Place to Assist the Syrian-Armenian Community
WATERTOWN, Mass.—The Regional Executive Board of the Armenian Relief Cross of Syria has informed the ARS Central Executive Board that the sum of $100,000.00 collected for the ARS “Assistance to the Syrian-Armenian Schools Fund” is being distributed to all Syrian-Armenian schools.
According to the chairperson of the ARC of Syria Regional Executive Board, Anna Hagopian, 27 Armenian schools in Aleppo, Damascus, Kesab, Latakia, Kamishli and other areas have received funds from the $100,000.00 endowment (see the list of the schools below). “All the schools outside of Aleppo have been open for months, while the upper classes of the Aleppo schools are held in Armenian centers and in schools located in secure areas. We are hopeful,” she stated, “that conditions will soon be conducive to reopen the grade schools, as well.”
ARS Central Executive Board member, Zepure E. Reisian added, “As we had previously announced, the sums received by the Armenian schools will be allotted to the balance of needy students’ tuitions, as well as supplying financial assistance to the needs of the schools themselves, while also relieving the financial burden on the parents.”
It is important to note that, in addition to the ARS “Assistance to the Syrian-Armenian Schools Fund”, all ARS entities around the world are raising additional funds for Syrian-Armenian relief. “The ARC of Syria,” its Regional Executive Board Chairperson declared, “continues to function in Aleppo and other areas of Syria. After a period of forced inactivity, the ARC has reactivated its dispensary and laboratory in order to satisfy the existing needs. We have also started a medical assistance center in the Armenian-populated quarter of Suleymanieh. Working against great odds, we energetically continue to help needy families and students, without sparing any effort to extend a helping hand to the children of the “Refuge” (Badsbaran). In the present conditions we are, of course, collaborating closely with the United Body of Immediate Assistance and the Prelacy – particularly with His Eminence, the Prelate, himself,” concluded the Chairperson.
In the context of improving the conditions faced by the Syrian-Armenian community, immediate steps are also being taken by ARS/Armenia and our Lebanon entity, since a good number of Syrian-Armenians have sought refuge in Armenia and Lebanon.
In the Homeland, the ARS/Armenia Regional Executive Board has already formed its committee to manage Syrian-Armenian issues. This committee, which convenes weekly, organizes public gatherings in Yerevan’s “Aram Manukyan” Center, and provides information and guidance on issues faced by Syrian-Armenians residing in Armenia, particularly in the areas of education, health and legal problems. In cooperation with the “Help Your Brother” project, the ARS/Armenia Regional Executive Board has shipped much-needed medications to Aleppo, secured through their own efforts and partially received from the ARS/Western USA. In anticipation of the soon-to-arrive winter months, ARS/Armenia has secured food, warm clothing and blankets for needy families. Narineh Galstyan, chairperson of ARS/Armenia, is a member of the special committee formed by the Armenia’s Diaspora Ministry to handle Syrian-Armenian issues.
In Lebanon, taking into consideration that community institutions are involved in securing educational and other needs, the ARC has primarily concentrated on social and medical services, and the “Araxi Boulghourdjian” Sociomedical Center has provided its resources in the service of all Syrian-Armenians, with no exceptions. On an average, 25 Syrian-Armenian cases present themselves daily at the various departments of the ARC, and all of them receive solutions to their diverse problems.
The Armenian Relief Society has also studied the cases and needs of college students who have left Syria due to the present turmoil and ended up in Armenia or Lebanon – by now, the Armenian authorities have already cancelled tuitions for Syrian-Armenian students. The ARS continues to closely monitor conditions in other countries.
In answer to questions posed to her, ARS Central Executive Board chairperson, Vicky Marashlian, stated, “Twenty-seven ARS entities in various countries were the very first in their Armenian communities to start a fundraising movement to assist the Syrian-Armenian Community. The results of that endeavor have already reached Syria and have been allotted to the Syrian-Armenian schools. Our entities and membership continue their fundraising efforts within the community-effort context, while on the ground they actively serve the diverse needs of the Syrian-Armenians. I want to express my deep appreciation to the ARC/Syria membership, still on the ramparts of their duties, doing their very best to serve their people regardless of the prevailing conditions of chaos and insecurity. With the assistance of the global ARS family, ARC/Syria will soon start to supply warm food to needy families, at least twice a week. An initial sum has already been transferred to our ARC colleagues, with the consistent hope that the need for this assistance will end soon. The ARS will continue its discrete endeavors in serving the needs of the Syrian-Armenian community, with a thorough understanding of the seriousness of the present situation, focusing on real needs, giving our very best in a systematic and organized manner.”
All ARS entities continue to receive donations for the Syrian-Armenian community. The ARS Central office is in daily contact with Aleppo, being apprised of the rising needs and working to satisfy them in cooperation with the all-Armenian fundraising endeavors.
ALEPPO: The National Karen Jeppe Jemaran, the National Haygazian School, the National Sahakian School, the National Gulbenkian School, the National Zavarian School, the Armenian Catholic Mekhitarian School, the Armenian Catholic Zwartnots School, the Armenian Evangelical Bethel School, the L. Najarian-Kalousd Gulbenkian School, the Grtasirats-Chemberjian Secondary School, the Cilician School
DAMASCUS: The National United School, the Holy Translators School, the Sahakian School, the Armenian Catholic “Light” School, the Armenian Catholic “Lighthouse” School, the Armenian Catholic United School, the Armenian Catholic Sisters School
Kesab: The National “Usumnasirats” United Jemaran, the Armenian Catholic “Hope” School, the Armenian Evangelical “Martyrs” School
OTHER: The National Kamishli school, the “Yeprad” School, the Latakia National “Martyrs” School, the Yakoubieh National “Veratznund” School, the Racca National Nubarian School, the Hasakeh National Mesrobian School, the Derik National “Liberty” School, the Ras-el-Ayn National “Martyrs” School