Lends his support to shelter and the higher education of orphans
On April 12, the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment of the Syrian Arab Republic contacted ARS Regional Executive members in Aleppo and informed them that “a high ranking official will be visiting the ARS Orphanage on Easter”, stressing that the visit will be unofficial and requested that only orphans and 3 responsible be at the orphanage. A few minutes before the official’s arrival the Orphanage was informed that the guests were the President of Syria Bashar Assad and the First Lady.
The President spent almost two hours at the orphanage in an intimate atmosphere, talking individually with the orphans, getting acquainted with their cases and asking to learn about the needs and future plans of each and every one of them. Learning that three of the orphans will be married soon and that the Orphanage’s Board of Trustees had already taken care of their bridal expenses, he pledges to help them furnish their houses and assist the various needs of the orphanage. Indeed, three days after the visit, the Presidential palace invited the ARS Regional to Damascus and presented them with a check from the President for 500 thousand Syrian Pounds (almost $10,000).
During the visit, an orphan spoke about her wish to continue her studies in France. The President promised her, that in case she is accepted by any French University, he will undertake her education expenses. On July 19, 2009, a few days after being informed that the orphan was accepted to a university in France, President Bashar Assad sent a check with a enough funds to cover her education expenses in France.
“We are grateful for the attention given by the President and the First Lady to our orphanage”, said Sossy Keledjian, ARS Chairperson in Aleppo, underlining the special attention they showed to the cases of every orphan.
The National Shelter of Aleppo operates under the supervision of the ARS in Syria since 1935. During decades of operations, this institution served the social needs of the Armenian community in Syria, sheltering and educating the helpless and providing a warm, secure home to almost 2000 children and young men and women.