STEPANAKERT, Artsakh – The next program based on the patriotic activities of the Anna Astvatsaturian Foundation is the “Ser Artsakh” charity project, within the framework of which every child born in Artsakh will receive his first gift box. The goal of this project is to emphasize the role and importance of building families and shaping the future of children on a historic land.
The project will be launched on June 1, International Children’s Day, as a sign of the responsibility to protect children born after the 44-day Artsakh War in 2020, the ones who give new life to their homeland.
“The program should not be perceived as a regular donation or charitable initiative. Instead, we created these quality gift boxes to feel like a gift that every donor would give to new members of their own families,” says Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte, founder and president of the Anna Astvatsaturian Foundation.
All the items included in the gift boxes are high-quality Armenian products, purchased in Armenia and Artsakh. Each box includes onesies, pajama sets, sleeping sacks, towels and blankets; care essentials like diapers, wipes, baby shampoo, a thermometer and pacifier; as well as maternity hygiene necessities for the new mother. The boxes will also include gifts like a custom-made soft baby book and a wooden toy all made in the homeland.
Partners include Lalunz, LLC, Play Artsakh, Tmblik and Theopharma Imports, LLC.
The “Ser Artsakh” charity program provides an opportunity for Diaspora Armenians, residents of Armenia, businesses and other donors to sponsor the creation of one or more boxes sent to families living in Artsakh.
“‘Ser Artsakh’ is an entirely donation-focused initiative that will live for as long as people continue to donate and believe in its mission,” said Astvatsaturian Turcotte. “We can all do charity. However, this program aims to thank the newly-created families for giving life and hope to Artsakh.”
To become a partner and contribute to “Ser Artsakh,” please email firstname.lastname@example.org
In a brief interview with the Weekly, Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte shared more details about her foundation’s newest project “Ser Artsakh,” which she announced on Mother’s Day. “This program is a call to action,” she said. “It’s a message to the people of Artsakh: I did not forget you.”
Astvatsaturian Turcotte explained the three goals of this initiative: supporting Artsakh families, boosting the economies of Armenia and Artsakh and prioritizing the well-being and future of Artsakh’s growing families. Artsakh’s post-war birth rate dramatically increased by 36-percent this year. This demographic growth has motivated Astvatsaturian Turcotte to bring this program to fruition, a project she envisioned several years ago after reading an article about a similar program in Finland.
Following the 44-day war and with a sharp focus on the families of Artsakh, “Ser Artsakh” was born—her love for Artsakh and its people as her guiding light. The gift items are adorned with an original logo designed by Astvatsaturian Turcotte of a blue baby bird, inspired by the freedom of taking flight over the mountains of Artsakh. Astvatsaturian Turcotte also noted that the man who will be delivering the gift boxes is an Artsakh war veteran.
“The families are patriotic and deciding to have babies in their homeland,” explained Astvatsaturian Turcotte. “It’s important to show the diaspora that the Artsakh people staying in what remains of Artsakh are of utmost importance to us as a people.”
Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte is an American-Armenian writer, philanthropist, lawyer, elected official, president of the Westbrook City Council and president of the Anna Astvatsaturian Foundation. Astvatsaturian Turcotte is also the author of the book “Nowhere, a Story of Exile, 2012” based on her diaries which she wrote as an 11-year-old child escaping the Baku massacres. In 2013, Astvatsaturian Turcotte spearheaded the successful recognition of Artsakh at the state of Maine legislature. Since then, she has implemented a number of charitable programs in Armenia and Artsakh. In 2020, she founded the Anna Astvatsaturian Charitable Foundation. One of its major projects is the post-war survey, “Artsakh War 2020: Losses, Challenges – Opportunities for Resistance Development.”