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Project Background

Individuals with Down Syndrome bring light to the lives of those around them; however, they still continue to face discrimination and challenges in many parts of the world. 

In Armenia, some of these challenges include: the lack of accessible specialized services, social stigma, few opportunities for social integration, and a slowly developing inclusive educational system.

Father Grigor, a priest in Yerevan, came to grips with this reality when his own son was born with Down syndrome seven years ago. When he discovered there was no special development centers for children like Zorik, he founded the non-profit center Արև Երեխաներ, which means “Sunny Kids.” Currently, more than 70 children and youth participate in its free programs annually.

Recognizing the multifaceted needs of children with Down Syndrome, the center provides an array of specialized interventions, including speech therapy, physical therapy, and educational support. Moreover, initiatives such as the music group "Sunny Bells" and theatrical group "Sunny Theater" foster creativity and social interaction.

World Down Syndrome Awareness Day is celebrated internationally on March 21! In honor of this day, Ayo! is excited to partner with Sunny Kids by raising funds to purchase intellectual games and specialized equipment needed for their programs. Our overarching goal is to enhance the overall health and well-being of children with Down Syndrome and their families, fostering a more inclusive and supportive society in Armenia.

Project Goal

To support the development of children with Down Syndrome through developmental games and therapeutic equipment. 

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Gregory Saraydarian

Mardiros Petrossian

Elizabeth Khodabash

Sylvia K. Kalishian

Shanat Cherchian

Emma Artun

Hilda B. Adil

Holy Trinity Armenian Church

Merritt Agabian

Victoria Babikian

Dawn Aginian

Alex Madajian

Diana Topjian

Zara Abrahamyan

Lorie R. Odabashian

Natalie Mardirossian

Arakel Aljalian

Andrew Yenicag

Sarah Stites

Yeprem Kelegian

Ara Hacet

Roberta Ervine

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