MISSION HILLS, Calif.—The Armenian Youth Federation as a part of their “24 Days of Action” campaign visited the elderly residents of Ararat Home on April 4, who shared their stories as children of Armenian Genocide survivors.
The afternoon spent at Ararat Home in Mission Hills, California consisted of exchanging stories, singing Armenian songs, and reciting poems. A video compilation of their visit can be watched on AYF’s Facebook page.
“Turkey thinks with time the truth will subside and history will subside, but as we pass down the stories from generation to generation the truth will live in all of us,” said AYF’s Chairperson Rafi Orphali, expressing the importance of such visits in connection with the Armenian Genocide.
Ninety-year-old Isabel advised the youth to never stop fighting. “Standing up for what you believe in is not difficult and will only help you grow,” she said. “I have been standing up for what I believe in since I was 13 years old until now.”
AYF member and chairperson of the organizing committee Meher Kaskanian was inspired by his visit to Ararat Home. “The feeling of sharing a connection with our people, that our people are still here, mutually reassures that our heritage is not one that can be destroyed,” Kaskanian said.
“We were sitting in a room of generations of Armenians that have come from different parts of the world, listened to their stories of how they survived past hardships. All of their stories were tied to the genocide. We will never end the conversation.”
The Armenian Youth Federation-Western United States has announced the launch of its 24 Days of Action, a campaign initiated to bring and spread awareness, justice, recognition, and reparations to the Armenian Genocide. The 24 Days of Action was initiated on April 1 and will conclude on April 24 with the March for Justice in Los Angeles.
Founded in 1933 with organizational structures in over 17 regions around the world and a legacy of over eighty years of community involvement, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian-American youth organization in the world, working to advance the social, political, educational, and cultural awareness of Armenian youth.