GLENDALE—The ARS Javakhk Fund Committee has been actively operating in the Western United States for the past 15 years and has made significant contributions to advancing the welfare of Armenians in Javakhk.
The Committee’s primary aim is to offer both moral and financial support to Armenians in Javakhk in an effort for them to remain deeply rooted to their lands and to help ensure that the region continues to remain populated with Armenians. To advance this purpose, the Committee implements various year-round initiatives and programs, whose success is credited in large part to the support of the local community.
As in every year, the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee recognizes the month of March as Javakhk Awareness Month and this year’s slogan asserts “Supporting Javakhk is Our Duty.” As part of this year’s efforts, banners bearing this slogan are being distributed among Armenian schools and signed by students to show their solidarity with this cause. Presentations centered on Javakhk, the lives of Armenians in the region, and its historical significance are also being delivered by the Committee throughout schools.
The Annual Coin Bank Drive has already launched across Armenian and ARS schools as a fundraising effort, which allows school children to participate in raising funds for programs and, at the same time, instills a sense of duty and camaraderie with their brethren in Javakhk.
It is an undeniable reality that the continued existence of Armenians in Javakhk relies heavily on its youth. In an effort to offer children, young adults and the community a gathering ground, the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee’s relentless efforts have already resulted in the opening of three youth centers in Akhalkalak, Akhaltskha, and Ninotsminda. More recently, the land adjacent to the youth center in Akhalkalak was purchased to construct a playground for children. The operational expenses of these three youth centers are undertaken by the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee. Despite the socio-economic and political hardships faced in the region, these centers offer youth in the area an opportunity to receive instruction in the Armenian language, history and culture, utilize computers and have internet access, engage in social and cultural activities, and more.
The Committee’s large-scale fundraising event this year will be a luncheon aboard The Queen Mary on Sunday, April 2 from 12pm-5 pm. Tickets are $125 per person. Proceeds from this event will benefit the above-mentioned youth centers.
Placing great emphasis on the importance of raising awareness about Javakhk, the Committee’s efforts include organizing educational events and forums for the public. Each summer, the Committee also sponsors campers attending “Camp Javakhk.”
In terms of future activities, ARS Javakhk Fund Committee Chairperson Lena Bozoyan references the importance of investment planning in the region, immediate repairs needed for the Akhaltskha Youth Center, the necessity of opening a fourth youth center in the Poka Village, and an upcoming tour to Javakhk.
“It is essential that every Armenian understands the importance of Javakhk and that strengthening the region is directly correlated to the strengthening of Armenia. In this sense, the Committee extends its deepest appreciation to community members, students, donors, and sponsors in the Western Region, who have always enthusiastically supported our cause,” stressed Bozoyan.
Alongside Chairperson Bozoyan, the ARS Javakhk Fund is comprised of committee members Emma Salmassian, Harout Madenian, Christine Hovnanian, Nevart Mooradian, Salpy Hagopian, Carnie Armenian, Hermine Parseghian, Sebouh Tamakian and Jasik Jarahian. The ARS Regional Executive liaisons to the Committee are Aida Babayan-Alrayes and Carmen Libaridian. Harout Manoukian serves as the liaison to the Central Javakhk Fund Committee.
Javakhk will always be a part of Armenia and, as the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee proclaims, “Supporting Javakhk is Our Duty.”