Journey to Armenia: Day 6

Our first visit was to a family of four (dad, mom & 2 sons) that once lived in a shack, but with the efforts of the local World Vision youth group they were now living in a real apartment.

World Vision Armenia

The World Vision Armenian youth sold calendar cards as well as a few other projects to raise enough money to provide an entire apartment for one family. I cannot express how impressive these youth members are to do something so selfless and meaningful for this family!

World Vision Armenia

The oldest boy in the family, Hayk, suffers from “Armenian disease” which is a combination of acute abdominal pain, swollen joints and high fever in which very cold conditions contribute to the frequency. Since moving into the apartment, his symptoms are now far and few between. This family would have never been able to afford an apartment like this before, even with hard work.

World Vision Armenia

This apartment has greatly impacted this family’s future and all from an idea and dream from World Vision’s amazing youth members in Armenia.

World Vision Armenia

photo credit: Laura Reinhardt‎

The next location we visited was once an attic, but now the apartment of Anoush (mother) and Menua (son, 12). Though WV requested that none of the families we visited host us with food and drink, Anoush declined. She had gone to the market that morning to purchase coffee, sugar and a new serving tray with cups. Though she could not afford it, she took pride in being able to do that for us. It was a taste of normalcy that we couldn’t possibly deny her. WV had plans to reimburse her grocery bill.

World Vision Armenia

photo credit: Laura Reinhardt‎

Four years after Menua was born, Anoush’s husband (Menua’s father) died. Before his death, the family lived very comfortably, but this isn’t the case now. Anoush works 7 days a week cleaning a local business, despite her terrible arthritis. Fortunately, Menua has been sponsored through World Vision and it is proving to be a safety net for this very vulnerable family. Though Anoush is extremely grateful for sponsorship by always thanking World Vision, sending letters, etc., you could feel the pain that she has to rely on it at all. When asked about her previous education, she broke down in tears because she had quite a high level of education, yet had no way of using it.

World Vision Armenia

As I wrap up this recap of my trip to Armenia, I want to also point out that this week marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenia Genocide. Is this your first time hearing about the Armenian Genocide? You’re not alone. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with this devastating event. My friend Matthew Paul Turner wrote a fabulous post that I hope you’ll read.

A big thank you to World Vision for sponsoring my travel, accommodations and meals during my trip to Armenia.