Journey to Armenia: Day 3
This was another day dedicated to family visits, but this time we witness generational poverty.
The first family of the day included Andranik (father), Janet (mother, pictured) and Nikol (13yo son). Their living conditions were so poor that Andranik often fears that his roof might collapse on his family as they sleep in the night. Can you imagine thinking that each night before bed?
The family’s problems do not stop there. Over the years, they have borrowed and paid back money time and time again, never getting ahead and always falling more and more behind. They lack the know-how to make smart business decisions, so cannot dig their way out of debt. Their older son (living outside of the home with his own family) are in the same exact cycle, too. No job. No opportunity. No money.
Nikol (13) played an instrument for us and I could see the pride in his mother’s eyes for a moment and then it quickly disappeared with worry. She and her husband work three hours in the morning and three hours in the evening cleaning barns for very little money – only $1.40 per day. They have lost their faith completely and say, “It is our time to die.”
The next family consisted of Andranik and Janet’s older son Vardan (30), his wife Ani (26) and three children (Anahit, Vahan and Mariam). Each morning, Vardan gets up early to gather firewood for the family in order to keep their makeshift home (part of which is relief container from the earthquake years ago) warm, but the wood supply is slowly dwindling down and their stove will soon be cold.
Vardan is currently working overnight at the hydroelectric plant nearby making sure the water doesn’t freeze and disrupt power. In the summer he takes whatever work he can. His wages are not nearly enough to pay the electricity bill, though, and it had recently been turned off.
Thankfully, World Vision has stepped in to help this family, as well as young Nikol in offering warm clothing, boots, furniture and programs for the children. There is also a chance that Vardan may be able to participate in World Vision programs to earn an income as well. There is hope and because of sponsorships through World Vision, change can take place in this case of generational poverty.
I’ll be back with Day 4 next Thursday.
A big thank you to World Vision for sponsoring my travel, accommodations and meals during my trip to Armenia.