YEREVAN–The Hayastan All-Armenian Fund continues to carry out major development projects in Armenia’s Lori Region. The latest is the reconstruction of the community center of Artsni Village, a newly launched initiative financed by the fund’s Montreal affiliate.
Another project in Artsni, now under way through the sponsorship of the Indian government, is the reconstruction of the village school.
The Artsni community center, which was built 40 years ago, is in dire need of refurbishment. When renovations are completed, the two-story building will include spacious offices for the Artsni Municipality as well as an events hall and a medical clinic. The latter two facilities will also serve the residents of neighboring Apaven Village.
Commenting on the reconstruction projects being implemented in Artsni, Mayor Khenko Khachanesyan said: “For the first time in the history of our village, two community institutions are being renovated simultaneously. Moreover, these projects have provided temporary jobs to some dozen local residents.”
“I hope these far-reaching initiatives will help convince villagers who have left Artsni to return to their hometown,” the mayor said and added, speaking on behalf of his community: “Now if only our village were provided with gas service as well, our lives would improve considerably.”
The majority of Artsni’s 350 residents are refugees from Getashen. Cattle-breeding is the mainstay of the local economy. Formerly known as Kiziltagh, Artsni was given its present name in 1991.
“There are still many issues facing the community, but we hope that our development projects will help turn things around and encourage residents to continue to live and work in their village,” said Ara Vardanyan, executive director of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund.
The third project currently being implemented in the Lori Region is the construction of a gymnasium for Spitak’s No. 2 School, slated for completion in June 2010.