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A Visit to Gavar Orphanage

GAVAR, Armenia ‒ On May 9, 2018, a group of the American University of Armenia’s (AUA) students spent a day in Gavar Orphanage. Their visit aimed to motivate the children to study well, to inspire them to pursue higher education, as well as to present a variety of board games, toys, school supplies,  books, and clothes donated by the AUA community.

Gavar Orphanage is located in Gegharkunik province of Armenia. Established in 1936 for only 100 children, it sheltered more than 250 children during World War II. The orphanage currently houses around 50 children who need care and support. Along with classes at public schools in Gavar, the children have the opportunity to attend carpet-weaving, embroidery, and woodworking classes in the orphanage and create hand-made pieces.

The children greeted their guests with a special cultural program including singing, dancing and acting performances. The AUA students had a tour of the orphanage and were  acquainted with the children’s bedrooms, classrooms, playing rooms, the dining room, and the garden playground with swings and seesaws.

Six students from the Master of Science in Strategic Management (MSSM) program, Anahit Babayan, Tigranuhi Harutyunyan, Elizabeth Keshishyan, Davit Vardanyan, Lilit Harutyunyan, and Liana Ghalumyan, came up with this initiative for their group project in the scope of AUA’s Project Management course. They considered the project to be a perfect chance “to do something real, bright and useful for society.”

“All of us are very thankful to AUA and all those people who had their unique contribution to this project by inspiring and motivating us to organize this event. This visit helped us to understand that each person can take a small but very important step toward making our society better, at least by an expression of love and support for others,” Harutyunyan said.

With support and guidance from AUA Provost Dr. Randall Rhodes, MSSM Program Chair Dr. Vardan Baghdasaryan, MSSM Adjunct Lecturer Zaruhi Tonoyan, Coordinator of Co-Curricular Programs Mariam Mikhaylova, and the AUA Undergraduate Student Council, the students coordinated the organization of the process. Donation boxes were placed on the AUA campus from April 20 to May 8. Additionally, a Facebook page was created, which not only kept the AUA community updated on the details of the visit, but also engaged benefactors from outside the University.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.