YEREVAN—The Tufenkian Foundation recently hosted “Twenty Years with Children and Their Families” on June 4, 2021, celebrating the Family and Community NGO’s 20 years of service in Armenia. The event, which was held at the Tufenkian Historic Hotel in Yerevan, also marked International Children’s Day, which is observed on June 1 in Armenia and many parts of the world.
The Tufenkian Foundation is a founding supporter of the Family and Community NGO, an organization that addresses the poorest and most vulnerable strata of Armenian society, implementing programs for social and psychological support; empowerment of families; capacity building for youth and children; identification and development of resources; and community development.
Knarik Garanfilyan, the NGO’s founder and executive director, welcomed guests and introduced Archbishop Sion Adamyan, Primate of the Diocese of Armavir, to open the event with a prayer and to share his blessing and remarks. The Archbishop, who was instrumental in helping shape the organization’s mission and who continues to support its programing, highlighted the NGO’s impact on the various communities in which it functions.
The Family and Community NGO, one of the main beneficiaries of the Tufenkian Foundation, currently operates in five cities across three regions in Armenia. In the Armavir region, it runs centers in Metsamor (est. 2002) and Armavir city (est. 2018); in Tavush, it operates centers in Ijevan (est. 2016) and Noyemberyan, (est. 2017); and in Shirak, it operates its newest center in Artik (est. 2020).
“The goal of the Family and Community NGO is simple: to help children, families, and all those who find themselves in difficult situations. We strive to develop a model of national Christian social work, relying on a rich tradition of well-founded social support based on Christian values,” Garanfilyan explained during an illustrated presentation.
Garanfilyan went on the explain that the organization carries out its mission in order to ensure the full realization of children’s intellectual, social, mental and moral development; to develop the potential of children and youth to increasing their competitiveness in the future labor market; to support the strengthening of families through the consolidation of community resources; and to increase the role of communities as a primary source of help and support for their members.
Rupen Janbazian of the Tufenkian Foundation then delivered his remarks, during which he stressed the Foundation’s commitment to the children of Armenia and Artsakh. “The [Family and Community] NGO’s mission is one that is near and dear to Tufenkian [Foundation], and we are happy to be by its side as it carries out this valuable work. We understand that these are uncertain times for Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian people, however, it is organizations like the Family and Community NGO that inspire hope, confidence and optimism for a brighter future,” Janbazian said.
Throughout the event, the artwork of the children of the Family and Community NGO centers, including paintings, sketches, clay sculptures and puppets, were on display for guests to enjoy. A group of children from the centers also performed a medley of traditional Armenian songs and dances. The event concluded with blessings by Father Grigor Hovhannisyan.
Donations to the Family and Community NGO can be made through the Tufenkian Foundation.