Vatche Soghomonian, the 82 year old athlete and lifetime member of Homenetmen Scouts, will be riding his bike again for another worthy cause to aid the people of Armenia.
It was 17 years ago, in 1999, when Vatche rode his bike from capital to capital – Stepanakert to Yerevan to help fund the grape nursery that the Armenian Technology Group, Inc. (ATG) was establishing in Karabakh. Since then, every year he devotes two weeks in the summer to travel to Armenia with his own resources to paddle throughout the countryside to raise funds in support of numerous worthy endeavors.
This year, Vatche has committed himself to help deliver the latest innovation, the Mobile Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (MVDL), to Armenia. “This is the most valuable and noble mission that I am undertaking,” said Vatche. In 2004, Vatche, along with his cycling friends, helped deliver four milk collecting-refrigeration tanks for ATG project in Armenia. He will ride his bike on April 2, 2016.
“I was a lab technician during my college years. Now that I see this portable lab, I can only envision how beneficial it will be to the veterinarians and especially to the dairy farmers.” It will enable the vets to do on site testing and diagnosis of food producing animals to ensure that they are free of diseases. After all, the consumers, the children and people in Armenia, will benefit from it.
“My goal is to raise enough funds to supply one portable lab this year,” said Vatche.
This innovation is the latest projects of the ATG. Dr. James Reynolds, President of ATG, devoted three years of his time to testing and assembling the lab and delivered the first prototype to Armenia in 2015. ATG’s objective is to supply 10 MVDLs, one for each region of Armenia and Karabakh. Each of the units costs $15,000, which includes training and follow-up support to develop baseline diagnostic information and clinical data. The MVDL could be rapidly deployed and activated in any rural location. Our mission is simply help increase farm production and income.
More than 25 years ago, ATG started with a simple belief that we can make a difference in the lives of your brothers and sisters in Armenia and Artsakh no matter what the challenges are. We have the collective power to do so.
As Vatche likes to say with a smile on his face, “I will be doing all the hard work, and I will truly appreciate your financial support for this worthy cause.”