I was on board the Costa Fortuna for the Twelfth Armenian Heritage Cruise where I learned about the outstanding work that the Tufenkian Foundation is doing in Kashatag (reclaimed lands in the Lachin Corridor).
Presented by Dr. John Antranig Kasparian, NK Program Director of the Tufenkian Foundation, inc., the lecture with slides, a geography lesson, an informative DVD disc and printed literature should make one reach into their pockets to help with the house renovation program.
No Armenian should live in a bombed out stone house with no roof, no windows (except cellophane), and earthen floor, no running water, a damaged or non existent front or back door and no electricity. There are approximately 8000 inhabitants in the Artsakh Plain and this area is rich in agriculture (wheat, grapes and pomegranates) with many waterfalls and hot springs. Azerbaijan desires these strategic lands back in order to cut off Armenia from NKR and presently Mountainous Karabakh is hard to retake.
Thirteen hundred homes need renovation in 2009. In this vulnerable region, where few charities have ventured, private money is needed. One cannot populate a homeless, jobless no man’s land. Armenian blood retrieved these ancient Armenian lands, but the post war patriots, pogrom victims of Baku and earthquake survivors cannot secure or fortify the Lachin Corridor and its borders; it needs people. Resettlement is top priority. Work, livelihood, infrastructure, such as electricity and running water, medical care and schools are all needed.
The Armenia’s of France have helped Mountainous Karabakh. The Irish have sent a cob expert, Paull Dillon, to teach the locals how to build earthen houses on their land with clay, straw and mud.
The U.S. and the entire Diaspora must help. Economic times worldwide are severe and the U.S. dollar has depreciated in Armenia. Population presently in Nagorno Karabakh is approximately 160,000; 500,000 could live there but not without housing.
“Karabakh exists as long as Kashatagh exists.” This is a direct quote from NKR President, Bako Sahakian. Kashatagh needs livable housing. Please help to ensure that Armenia’s remain on these lands.
For more information, visit the website at www.tf.org. Make tax deductible contributions by check made payable to: Tufenkian Foundaiton, Inc. 20 Capitol Drive, Moonachie, New Jersey 07074. For questions, call 201-221-1055, extension 327.