Interim Report on Jinishian Memorial Foundation’s Kessab Fundraising Initiative
We would like to report you on Jinishian Memorial Foundation’s Kessab fundraising initiative which would not happen without your generous support. So far, from the raised amount of$34,729 the amount of $23,087 was used to assist more than thousand Kessabian Armenians in Syria and Lebanon. The remaining amount of $11,642 will be used to assist the Armenians who are currently returning back to Kessab to take care of their basic needs. The report on this part will be provided later.
The Youth Engaged in Society School Debate Club Creation (YES) Project National Debate Championship
The National Debate Championship (NDC) took place on May 1,2 and 3 in Yerevan in the scope of the Youth Engaged in Society 2013-2014 School Debate Club Creation (YES) Project co-funded and implemented by the Jinishian Memorial Foundation, the Open Society Foundations-Armenia and the World Vision Armenia.
It is already ten years that NDC is being organized at the end of each academic year and it turns out to be a real celebration for all directly and indirectly involved in the project: debate club members, their mentors, parents, teachers, judges of debates and project implementers. The NDC is a reflection of the techniques, knowledge and skills children gain from the practice debates during the academic year.
Civic Seminar on "Forced Relocation of Local Population for Extraction of Natural Resources is Justified" Topic
On February 11, March 3 and 4 the JMF organized series of seminars on one of the YES Interschool debate topics of 2014: Forced relocation of local population for extraction of natural resources is justified. Seminar was conducted by Arpine Galfayan, the head of the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights NGO. At the beginning of the seminar students had the chance to get familiar with each other and go through an icebreaking game. The latter was followed with a small presentation on the topic, where students have learned how the availability of natural resource and the level of countries development are interconnected, in which cases the relocation is justified and what issues can arise as a result.
Another Visit of the YES Beneficiaries to the OSCE Office in Yerevan
On February 3, 10 and 13 more than 100 pupils and 10 teachers from Armavir, Dalarik, Echmiadzin, Qarakert, Lernagog, Metsamor and Sevan beneficiary schools of the Youth Engaged in Society 2013-2014 project were invited to a civic seminar at the OSCE office in Yerevan. The head of the democratization unit of the OSCE office in Yerevan, Oliver McCoy hosted them. During 1,5 hour meeting Mr. McCoy talked about the history, structure, goals and missions of the OSCE and the OSCE office in Yerevan.
University Students' National Debate Championship 2013
The University Students’ National Debate Championship was organized by the Jinishian Memorial Foundation on November 14 and 15, 2013 in Yerevan in collaboration and support of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the US Embassy in Yerevan. The championship was between the students’ teams from Yerevan and RA Marzes (Gyumri, Kapan, Vanadzor, Ijevan, Goris and Gavar) who all gathered in Yerevan for the final debates. During the two days of the championship the students debated and defended their views on important civic issues such as the education shall be paid, the state shall finance youth wings of political parties.
The final tournament on the topic “The women should serve in the army” was held between the two teams: Gyumri and Yerevan students' compiled teams. Gyumri compiled team was recognized as the winner of the championship by the judges.
Civic Seminars at the OSCE Office in Yerevan for the YES Project Beneficiaries
On October 23rd and 24th “Youth Engaged in Society 2013-2014” project beneficiaries /52 pupils and 11 teachers/ from Aparan, Shenavan, Talin, Mastara, Nerqin Bazmaberd, Gulaգarak, Urut, Sverdlov and Yerevan schools were invited to a civic seminar at the OSCE office in Yerevan. The head of the democratization unit of the OSCE office in Yerevan, Oliver McCoy hosted them. During 1,5 hour meeting Mr. McCoy talked about the history, structure, goals and mission of the OSCE and the OSCE office in Yerevan.
YES Beneficaries Visit to the National Assembly of Armenia
On November 11th and 12th the Jinishian Memorial Foundation organized two visits to the National Assembly for the YES beneficiary students from high schools of Vanadzor and Gyumri. Almost 60 students participated in these seminars. In the frames of these visits students had an opportunity to be present at the parliamentary session. President of the RA National Assembly, Hovik Abrahamyan greeted our students, which created a wave of excitement within our group.
Maro Asatryan, the head of Information Department, recounted the history of National Assembly and walked the children through the building. Students had an opportunity to enter the main hall of the Parliament building.
On September 29, 2013 the Jinishian Memorial Foundation (JMF) Armenia’s 20th anniversary celebration took place at the “Cross of Armenia Unity” NGO’s open space in Echmiadzin city. US Jinishian Memorial Program (JMP) Executive director, members of JMP US and JMF Armenia Advisory Committees, staff members, partners and beneficiaries were present at the event.
The Cross of Armenia Unity NGO president Grigor Babakhanyan, the JMP Executive Director Eliza Minasyan, the JMF Armenia Director Armen Hakobyan, the member of the JMP US advisory committee Victoria Gehrt and member of the JMF Armenia advisory committee Sister Arousiag Sajonyan delivered welcoming speeches and thanked the guests for sharing with the JMF the delight of the day.
The “Youth Engaged in Society 2013-2014” (YES) launched in September 2013. The project goal is to create new debate clubs and continue the activities of existing debate clubs in different regions of Armenia. The YES project is being implemented and financed by the Open Society Foundations-Armenia, the World Vision Armenia and the Jinishian Memorial Foundation. There are 130 schools involved in this project representing 8 regions of Armenia – Shirak, Lori, Aragatsotn, Kotayk, Gegharkunik, Armavir, Ararat and Syunik, 15 cities – Ashtarak, Aparan, Talin, Artashat, Masis, Armavir, Echmiadzin, Metsamor, Gavar, Vardenis, Sevan, Vanadzor, Abovyan, Hrazdan, Gyumri and 14 village communities – Qarakert, Lernagog, Dalarik, Arteni, Gyulagarak, Urut, Sverdlov, Mets Masriq, Shenavan, Nerqin Bazmaberd, Mastara, Sarnakunq, Brnakot and Shinuhayr.
The Jinishian Memorial Foundation in cooperation with the World Vision Armenia implements “Vardenis Develpment Initiative” project.
As a part of the strategic objectives directed to the development of Vardenis area communities and the requirements of the mentioned program the Jinishian Memorial Foundation and the World Vision Armenia announce a Grant Competition among the following communities of Vardenis region:
The Jinishian Memorial Foundation in partnership with the “CARD Agro-Credit” Universal Credit Organization and the Open Society Institute Foundation has been implementing “Cooperation in Providing Financial Services to Selected Farmer Cooperatives” program.
As a part of the strategic objectives of the organization and the requirements of the mentioned program the Jinishian Memorial Foundation announces Corporate Social Responsibility Grant Competition.
The farmers’ cooperatives which were involved in “Cooperation in Providing Financial Services to Selected Farmer Cooperatives” lending program and successfully fulfilled their obligations and/or the community nonprofit organizations working in the target communities are eligible to apply.
Students’ National Debate Championship took place on November 20 and 21 in Yerevan within the scope of the Students’ Civic Engagement – University Debate Clubs project. The championship was between the students’ teams from Yerevan and RA Marzes (Gyumri, Kapan, Vanadzor, Ijevan, Goris and Gavar) who all gathered in Yerevan for the final debates. During the two days of the championship the students debated and defended their views on important civic issues such as the fight against corruption, domestic violence and Armenia’s integration into the European Union.
The final tournament on the topic “Armenia’s Integration into the European Union” has been held between the two teams from Gavar State University and Yerevan compiled team of students. Yerevan team was recognized as the winner of the championship by the judges. The team of students from Gavar State University took the second place in the championship. At the end of the event participants of the championship received medals and certificates of honor from the project implementing organizations.
Each year, on September 19th Civil Society Day is celebrated in Armenia. The objective of this Day is to disseminate the idea of civil society among citizens and to make them an integral part of the idea. Various civil society organizations, state and international organizations including the Jinishian Memorial Foundation participate in the event organized on Civil Society Day.
This year, on September 19 the festive event including forum theater performances, interactive trainings and debates, information fair with the participation of Civil Society organizations, a flash mob and concert took place in Lovers’ Park in the city of Yerevan and was open to the public. The event had the slogan "We Are the Civil Society".
It is already eight years that NDC has been organized at the end of each academic year and it turns out to be a real celebration for all directly and indirectly involved in the project: debate club members, their mentors, parents, teachers, judges of debates and project implementers. The NDC is a reflection of the techniques, knowledge and skills children gain from the practice in the debates during the academic year.
Report on Warm Shoes to Schoolchildren from Vulnerable Families of Armenia Project
In 2011 the Jinishian Memorial Foundation has initiated a philanthropic activity to support school age children from remote northern villages of Armenia to be warmly booted during severe winter time. These are children who do not attend school during winter or attend in worn out shoes or even in shabby home slippers, which harshly influences on their health and sometimes later becomes a cause of chronic diseases. JMF has targeted Amasia, Ashotsk regions of Shirak marz and Vardenis, Chambarak regions of Gegharkunik marz, well-known with their cold and snowy winters, when during the long-lasting winter period people live isolated due to impassable roads and where people are mostly poor.
To raise funds for supporting school age children from these regions a page was created on Facebook; informative/request letters were sent to potential donors, Jinishian partners, board members, etc.
In 2011 the Jinishian Memorial Foundation raised 14,501,457 AMD/ 38,162 USD/. Actively cooperating with the local self governing bodies and school principals of those regions, JMF created the database of schoolchildren from Ashotsq, Amasia and Chambarak, Vardenis regions of Shirak and Gegharkunik marzes.
A letter from Gary Payton in the United States (regional liaison for Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia and Poland)
Dear Friends in Christ,
The pinks of a gentle, cold dawn tinted the snowy slopes of Mount Ararat. Across the just-waking city of Yerevan, the majesty of this biblical mountain grew ever larger as morning sun glinted off the sides of the 16,854-foot peak. And, in the Book it is written, “in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4).
Armenia: a land-locked nation of 3 million in the southern Caucasus, a former Republic of the Soviet Union and the first nation to adopt Christianity in the year 301.
Armenians: an ancient people who over the millennia have survived the onslaughts of invasion, conquest, natural disasters and genocide at the hands of an imperial power.
Meeting with the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Armenia
On February 26, the Jinishian Memorial Foundation had the great honor of hosting Ms. Marie L. Yovanovitch, the Honourable Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Armenia. Welcoming the guest, JMF Executive Director Eliza Minasyan presented JMF’s background and scope of activities. The positive and warm atmosphere allowed the JMF team to openly discuss JMF current projects in the spheres of economic development, health, community development, civil society, education and spiritual uplift.
Jinishian Commission Visits Armenia: Reflections of a Commission Member
Cynthia E. White, JMP Commission Member
Coordinator, Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People
Armenia is one of the oldest civilizations and the first in the world to officially accept Christianity as its state religion. It is a nation desperately trying to survive, trying to overcome its tragic history. It is a nation fighting for independence, democracy, and a brighter future. The spirit of the Armenia people and the nation’s determination create the potential to pull the country out of an endless cycle of mediocrity and on to a course of economic and political growth.
Jinishian Memorial Foundation Celebrates its 15th Anniversary
On October 8, Jinishian Memorial Foundation’s 15th Anniversary ceremony took place in Aram Khachatryan concert hall. Government representatives, US Jinishian Memorial Program Governing bodies, members of Advisory Committees, Directors and staff members of Syrian and Lebanon Jinishian Memorial programs, Jinishian Memorial Foundation Armenia partners and beneficiaries, staff members, their families and friends were present at the event.