YEREVAN—Over 300 students in the village of Getashen, located in the Armavir region of Armenia, celebrated the opening of their newly renovated school gymnasium on October 8. The large-scale renovation carried out by Children of Armenia Fund was made possible by the generous support of John Akhoian and Family, as well as the Hoops4Hayastan nonprofit organization.
COAF first entered Getashen in 2014, launching several education programs over the years. Today, the primary COAF after-school offerings at the school include Drawing, Basketball, Debate, Aflatoun Social & Financial Education, and English language classes in partnership with the US Embassy’s Access program.
Back in 2015, COAF completed a major capital renovation of the school, developed a Brushodrome (a room where children can brush their teeth), refurbished the school cafeteria, opened a Creativity Lab—a multifunctional classroom equipped with innovative technologies—, and launched a unique AgroSchool project, aimed at educating children in agribusiness and constructing greenhouses, the harvest of which serve the school’s cafeteria.
The newly-renovated gymnasium is a testament to COAF’s commitment to ensuring children are provided with proper fitness and health programs in safe, modern, and well-maintained environments. Providing children the necessary space to live their natural drive for movement will directly benefit their motoric and cognitive development, allowing for better coordination and higher concentration. Additionally, physical education plays an integral role in fostering the social skills of children by teaching them the importance of teamwork, mutual understanding and acceptance, as well as following instructions.
The school administration will now be able to offer a wide variety of physical education classes thanks to the gym no longer being categorized as hazardous. COAF will also continue to offer extracurricular sports programs, with an emphasis on the promotion of basketball.
The Children of Armenia Fund is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that employs community-led approaches aimed at improving the quality of life in rural Armenia, with a particular focus on children and youth. COAF’s target development areas are education, healthcare, social and economic development. COAF launched its programs in 2004, starting in one village and expanding to 64 villages in Armavir, Aragatsotn, Lori, Gegharkunik, Shirak, and Tavush regions, impacting more than 107,000 beneficiaries.
Since 2015, COAF has developed and started implementing the SMART Initiative. COAF SMART is designed to advance a generation across the rural world through education that will benefit individuals, societies, and the environment. As an exemplary model of development, COAF SMART will be replicated in other regions and communities throughout Armenia. The first COAF SMART Center was inaugurated on May 27, 2018, near the village of Debet, Lori Region.