LA CRESCENTA—On Saturday, January 20, 28 volunteers from The Armenian Educational Foundation and 16 volunteers from Chamlian Student Council attended Armenian Educational Foundation’s 10th Annual School Supply Project (SSP) at Chamlian Armenian School. The event brought together two communities dedicated to the educational advancement and social awareness of young Armenians.
Chamlian Student Council member and School Supply Project Co-President John Baghdassarian explained, “today we have 30 boxes that will be filled with school supplies for 330 students. We are also packing essential classroom supplies for the teachers. These boxes will be shipped to the AEF office in Armenia, where they will be delivered to 5 schools in Armenia and 13 schools in Artsakh. With the support of AEF and the help of Chamlian students, we plan on raising more money to help more students. Our goal for 2019 is to pack 1,000 backpacks.”
Chamlian Student Council member and Co-President of the School Supply Project Michael Baghdassarian also added, “volunteering for this project helps my friends and I understand the circumstances facing students in Armenia and Artsakh. Every time we put an item in these backpacks we are reminded of the all the privileges we have and take for granted. Students break pencils and lose their notebooks all the time, but the difference is, there isn’t a Staples nearby to replace these items. The students who are part of the SSP project lack not only access to stores because of their remote location but also they lack the means to purchase new items. Volunteering today gives all of us a sense of satisfaction and pride because we are able to help students, just like us, get the supplies they need for school.”
The School Supply Project began after the Savadian family visited a village school in Armenia. The family noticed that the students barely had any basic school supplies and necessities, let alone any arts and crafts materials to remain determined to continue their education.
Upon their return, the first shipment of school supplies was sent to this school. When thank you letters and appreciation notes poured in from this school, with the joy and excitement of the students in Armenia reaching the hearts of donors, volunteers, and students in the United States, the project expanded to a larger scale partnering with Armenian Educational Foundation. Since its first shipment in 2007, S.S.P. has delivered backpacks and school supplies to 19,000 students in the most rural and hard-to-reach schools in Armenia, Artsakh, and Javakhk.
AEF’s purpose in collaborating with Chamlian students is to help young Armenians through volunteer work, to understand not only the circumstances facing students in impoverished areas of Armenia, but to also feel empowered by their ability to make a positive impact in the lives of other Armenian students who are thousands of miles away.
The Armenian Educational Foundation is a non-profit organization, established in 1950, with the aim to render financial assistance to Armenian educational institutions, and to provide financial assistance to students of Armenian parentage.