YEREVAN—The Armenian Relief Society, Inc. (ARS) embarked on a fundraising kickoff campaign to erect a new building for the ARS “Sosseh” Kindergarten in Stepanakert, the capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR/Artsakh), during its 71st International Convention on Oct. 7 at the DoubleTree By Hilton in Yerevan.
The “Sosseh” Kindergarten was in need of extensive repairs, and the ARS Central Executive Board (CEB) decided that completely replacing the building rather than renovating it was the better option. The original kindergarten, which opened in April 1998 to serve the children of the martyrs of the Karabagh Liberation Struggle, was therefore demolished to make room for the new building.
This building, with a footprint of almost 6,000 square feet on 3 levels, will accommodate up to 130 students ages 3-6. The upper level will include space for after-school programs for the older children. The facility will be equipped with modern technology.
During the ARS Convention, a presentation was made by the Fundraising Committee on the progress of the construction. “This kindergarten building will be a showcase facility to accommodate our new generation, living freely in Artsakh and receiving the best pre-school education possible,” said Angel Manoogian, the chairperson of the committee.
The committee has raised over $500,000 of the needed $850,000 to build and furnish the facility through donations made by ARS chapters and members, as well as benefactors. The benefactors include Mr. and Mrs. Jacky and Seta Guevrekian ($100,000 in 2009), an anonymous donor from Western USA ($100,000) and Mr. and Mrs. Aurelian and Anahit Mardiros ($50,000).
During the presentation, the committee members also provided an update on the fundraising efforts, which will continue until the building is put to use in spring 2017.
Houri Najarian, the co-chairperson of the convention, praised the efforts of the CEB and the committee members, adding, “I encourage all ARS regions, chapters, and members throughout the 27 countries to reach out and support the committee’s fundraising efforts.”
The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Oct. 11, with the participation of the CEB, the Fundraising Committee, and ARS members.
To support this important project, mail your donations to ARS Inc., 80 Bigelow Ave., #300, Watertown, MA 02472, USA. Online donations can be submitted by visiting http://ars1910.org/projects/education/ars-soseh-kindergartens. For more information, contact the ARS Inc.’s office by calling (617) 926-5892 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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