YEREVAN – Since October of this year, the Knights and Daughters of Vartan have subsidized 122 Artsakh families with a total of $65,800, disbursed to address their pressing needs, ranging from rent to appliances and household essentials. The organization also helped to transport 700 tons of humanitarian provisions which were delivered directly to the Armenians living in Artsakh earlier this year.
The Knights and Daughters of Vartan have been dedicated to advocating for the well-being and security of Armenians in Artsakh and Armenia and supporting them for over a century. Since 2022, the organization has focused on advocating for the rights of the citizens of Artsakh, including their self-determination, liberty, security, and the right to live on their own land. In the fall of 2022, the Knights and Daughters established an Action Committee and successfully raised over $196K from members and non-members to address the needs of Artsakh Armenians.
In October 2023, the Knights and Daughters of Vartan created a road map for immediate humanitarian and long-term economic development projects specifically for Artsakh Armenian families. This Humanitarian project included supporting families the organization aided in 2022 while in Artsakh, vulnerable families with burned victims, small children, large families, or those who lost family members. In this endeavor, the organization partnered with other institutions, such as Aparan Municipality, the Knights of Vartan School #106, Paros Foundation, Martuni Vocational School named after V. Khachatryan, and Sahman NGO.
While the focus has been on the immediate and urgent needs, it has also emphasized the dire need to find people from Artsakh jobs to earn an income. In some cases the families preferred to obtain tools vs. purchasing household items, so they can work and later buy the household items with their income.
For example, Svetlana, a mother, with 12 children, preferred financial aid to purchase chickens and piglets to raise for winter and have a little farm similar to the one she had in Artsakh.
Another individual, Ira Kocharyan Gevorgyan, had to leave her hometown of Martuni in September along with her daughter Narine like many other displaced Artsakh people. She is a skilled professional in both sewing and teaching, Ira was employed at Martuni Vocational School named after V. Khachatryan. Despite the challenges, both women were determined to build a new life as a hardworking and independent family. With the necessity of paying rent for their house, they knew they had to combine their efforts to generate income. Recently, Narine secured a job, marking the beginning of their journey to financial stability. Their rented home, situated in a peaceful corner of Yerevan’s suburbs offers a serene environment. As a longstanding partner, the Knights of Vartan extended support to Ira, suggesting assistance with essential appliances, household items, and early rent payments. However, Ira made a conscious decision to forgo some immediate comforts at home. Instead, she opted to invest in a professional sewing machine, a crucial tool she had in Artsakh but was too large to transport by car. Despite the expense, the store empathized with her situation, offering a generous discount upon learning of her Artsakh origins. Now fully equipped, Ira is actively seeking sewing orders, ready to leverage her skills and determination to secure a stable income for her family.
Vilen Avanesov, another Artsakh Armenian supported by the Knights of Vartan expressed his gratitude saying, “Two of my brothers were affected by the Stepanakert explosion, and one is currently in a critical condition in the hospital. We take turns providing full-time care for him until he recovers. Unfortunately, we had to find a temporary, run-down dwelling two hours away from Yerevan, where the hospital is located, which resulted in its own set of challenges. Amidst these difficulties, it is the children who have suffered the most from the impact of these changes. The Knights and Daughters of Vartan support has empowered us to secure a better home at a preferable location, reducing the commute and allowing us to focus on providing stability for our children. This will enable them to attend school and secure a more conducive environment for their education and well-being. Hopefully, my brothers will recover and we can start our lives here by setting up greenhouses similar to the ones we had in Artsakh.”
The Knights and Daughters of Vartan are certain that their Humanitarian project is needed and appreciated and will continue as long as there is an urgent need.
Our next objective is the Economic Recovery Project which will facilitate economic development for impoverished families, guiding them toward establishing new homes in Armenia. This endeavor begins with the creation of income-generating resources. Our compatriots embody the spirit of proud and hard-working Armenians, and they deserve a helping hand. The Knights of Vartan are committed to sustaining this support for the people of Artsakh, ensuring a resilient and prosperous future for Armenians in Armenia.
To sustain our Humanitarian and Economic Development efforts, the Knights and Daughters of Vartan is continuing to raise funds. We invite you to join us as well and make a donation online or via check. Please visit our web site for more information visit kofv.org.
The Knights of Vartan Inc. is a fraternal leadership and service organization of Armenian men dedicated to safeguarding and perpetuating the Armenian heritage and cultural traditions. Its membership represents the spectrum of the leadership of the Armenian community. It was founded in 1916 in Philadelphia and is based in the United States with 23 local chapters which support Armenian causes around the world.
For more information about the Knights and Daughters of Vartan, visit http://kofv.org.
By Gohar Palyan, Liaison, Knights of Vartan