ARAJAMUGH, Artsakh—The residents of Arajamugh celebrated the reopening of the village school on Aug. 30.
In 2004, some 11 years after the liberation of the area, the Tufenkian Foundation initiated the establishment of the village, working in conjunction with the Department of Refugees and Resettlement of the Artsakh Republic. Four years ago, in 2013, the Armenian Cultural Association of America (ACAA) Artsakh Fund assumed responsibility for expanding the village.
Tufenkian Foundation Executive Director Raffi Doudaklian and foundation trustee and member of the ACAA Artsakh Fund Antranig Kasbarian, together with a group of Diasporan Armenian guests and representatives of the Hadrut Regional Administration, attended the event.
Today, more than 110 resettlers live in Arajamugh. At the end of the last academic year, as a result of consistent efforts to develop and expand the village, the community of Arajamugh had grown so much that the village school no longer had the capacity to house all school-age children.
The expansion of the school was launched this summer. Four new classrooms were added and general renovations were carried out. Due to added the capacity, 85 children will be attending the school this year (10 are first-year students), with the number expected to rise every year.
The event commenced with opening remarks by Tufenkian Foundation Executive Director Raffi Doudaklian and Raffi Killian of the Artsakh Fund, who congratulated the village community and wished a bright future to the children of Arajamugh.
Remarks were followed by the launch of the Second Annual Human Rights Essay Contest in Artsakh in honor of Armenian novelist, translator, and professor of literature Zabel Yessayan. The contest gives a chance for the high school students of Artsakh to compete for prizes by writing short essays. The contest was announced by Artsakh’s Human Rights Ombudsman Ruben Melikyan and Judith Saryan of the United States. Zabel Yessayan’s grandson, Alexandr Yessayan, was also present at the event.
For Arajamugh, the school is not just a place for the children to learn. It is also a community center and a major employer (25 teachers from Arajamugh and the neighboring villages currently work in the school).
The village expansion’s first phase was concluded earlier this year, on April 4, when hundreds of jubilant villagers, government officials, and guests gathered for the official village-expansion ribbon-cutting ceremony.
During those festive celebrations, the keys to six newly constructed homes were handed over to six families that had recently resettled in Arajamugh, and organizers announced their pledge to cover the expenses of the village’s school expansion and the building of a medical clinic.