GYUMRI — On September 21, 2017, the Debi Arach Children’s Center welcomed U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) on Armenia’s Independence Day. The delegation toured the facility while children studied in their classrooms. They then met with young men and women who have recently completed their military service and are now enrolled in the vocational training classes in web design and computer programming at Debi Arach.

“I am very impressed with the quality and dedication of the teachers and staff managing this institution,” said Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA). “Clearly good things are happening here for these vulnerable children in Gyumri.”

Roger Strauch, Founder and Chairman of The Paros Foundation received the delegation and hosted the tour of the facility with the Center’s director, Aida Khatchatryan. Other guests joining the congressional delegation for the tour included Shirak Governor Arthur Khatchatryan, Armenian Ambassador to the United States Grigor Hovhannissian, Armenia Fund Inc. Chairperson Maria Mehranian, Hayastan All Armenia Fund Executive Director Ara Vardanyan, Congresswoman Jackie Speier Chief of Staff Josh Connolly and Impact Hub Programs and Events Assistant Nune Harutyunyan.

“I am so proud to be here today,” said Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA).

“My friends and constituents have created something very special at Debi Arach, which has deftly maximized the support they receive to achieve amazing results. Their work should be used as a model on how to make the maximum impact in the most cost effective manner for the people of Armenia. With our continued support and oversight, I am certain Debi Arach will continue to benefit these children, as well as the adult school trainees.”

Established by The Paros Foundation in 2015, the Debi Arach Children’s Center provides more than 150 children with the academic, psychological, social and humanitarian support they need for a brighter future and to break the cycle of poverty. All services are offered free of charge. Children attending the Center are primarily from families living in dilapidated temporary housing or “domiks” left from the 1988 Spitak earthquake. Debi Arach operates as an after school program for school-aged children six days a week. Earlier this year, the Center launched a vocational training program to help young men and women who have recently completed their compulsory military service and acquire trade and technical skills to enter the workforce.

To learn more about the Debi Arach Children’s Center, to arrange a tour or to support Center programs, please contact www.debiarach.org or call (310) 400-9061.

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