BERKELEY, CA — Thanks to a $30,000 donation from Mike and Patricia Starzer of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, children attending elementary school in the isolated border village of Nerkin Karmir Aghpyur now attend classes in a newly renovated wing of their school.

“This is the fourth project we have completed in this village,” said Peter Abajian, Paros Foundation’s Executive Director. “Three years ago, we began our work here by renovating the medical center. Then our efforts turned to the village’s kindergarten that was renovated the following year. We also began implementing our Agribusiness on the Border project in this village; with six families receiving economic assistance to help grow their home-based businesses and improve the conditions for their families. We hope that this strategic approach to village development significantly improves the lives of these villagers.”

Elementary School OpeningThe village of Nerkin Karmir Aghpyur is an isolated border village in Armenia’s northeast Tavush province. 1,380 residents are living under the constant threat of cross border sniper fire from Azerbaijan. The village school was damaged during the war with Azerbaijan. While portions of the school have been partially renovated, the wing housing the elementary school classrooms, was in need of a complete renovation to provide the children with a clean, safe and sanitary environment in which to learn. A video about this project can be found on the Paros Foundation’s website at

Work consisted of rebuilding classroom walls, heating system upgrades, installation of new restrooms including water supply and sewer lines, installation of classroom doors, new flooring, electrical fixtures, new whiteboards and new and renovated furniture. In total, five classrooms (grades one through five), two restrooms and a large corridor were reconstructed. In response to the generous donation from the Starzers, Jean-Marie and Lori Atamian, the Starzers’ friends and Paros supporters, recently announced that in 2016 they will underwrite the renovation of the remaining wing of the school, housing the sixth through twelfth grade classrooms. This is the Atamian family’s fourth project in this village. The final phase of the school reconstruction will be the kitchen and cafeteria, which are located in an adjacent building. We plan to secure pledges for this final phase this year.

The Paros Foundation underwrote all administrative expenses so that 100% of contributions were allocated to this project. To help this effort or another project of the Paros Foundation’s Projects for Prosperity, please visit

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