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Project Background

Life in Armenia’s capital of Yerevan is different from the rest of the country; things move at a faster pace with greater opportunity for education and job prospects. Not far beyond the heart of the city however, one can find a more rural, antiquated way of life, where living in poverty is more the norm than the exception. Often, many children in these areas never really have a chance to know life outside their own villages.

Gifts to Schoolchildren will enable around 600 kids in Yerevan to have the opportunity to participatea in a Christmas initiative. Ayo! initiated a partnership between about 6 schools in Yerevan, through which Yerevan students will create shoebox “gift boxes” for their counterparts in poorer, border communities. The boxes will contain much-needed, everyday items like stationery, a hygiene kit (containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, a comb and a towel, for example), toys, cookies, in addition to a personal letter from each sender. The gifts will be distributed to children between the ages of 7 and 9 who attend either first, second or third grades in the border region of Hadrut in Nagorno Karabagh.

In total, about 1,800 children will participate in this project. By allowing them to engage with each other, they will be opened up to the differences in each other’s lives and communities, ultimately creating a mutually beneficial exchange. Children in the villages will have the added comfort of knowing that there are people out there who care for them.

Children are shaped by their environment and as ambassadors of the nation’s future, this project aims to take them beyond what they know, ultimately broadening their perspective. We can teach them about other places if we show, tell and take them there.

Project Goal

To promote better understanding of socio-economic differences and inspire a culture of philanthropy amongst Armenia’s youngest generation.

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John Voigt

Stephen Torrice

Natalie Sukiasian

John Sifonios

James N. Proctor

Armin Preub

Shooshan Paklaian

Shant Paklaian

Kalush Mikaelian

Gloria A. Martin

Jeanette Lipari

Marge Kazarian

Martha Kargenian

Krikor V. Karachorlu

Dan Hastings

Ara Dayian

Viken Daoud

Paula A. Clare

Jack C. Cholakian

John Chiodo

Gayane Cather

Betty Brenneman

Jennifer Bonsell

Nancy A. Berberian

Michelle Babikian

Guy Adami

Alexander Khoja-Eynatyan

Taline Campbell

Amalya Yeghoyan

Jessica Costillo

David Chanski

Jenny McIntosh

Lisa Armaganian

St. Mesrob Armenian Church

Armenian Public

Mary Akgulian

St. Gregory The Illuminator Armenian Church

Apkar Apkarian

Arda Mirek

sergey badalyan

Irina Nanagoulian

Jennifer Bedrosian

Lisa Sarkisian

Yeprem Kelegian

Ara Hacet

Jonathan Campbell

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