By Daphne Abeel
HOUSTON, Texas — “We started this program because of our belief that teachers prepare tomorrow’s leaders. That is the source of our inspiration and our mission,” said Maro Bedrosian, speaking of the Tekeyan Cultural Association’s (TCA) program “Sponsor a Teacher” in Armenia. Bedrosian, chair of TCA’s Board of Administrators and treasurer of TCA’s Central Board of Directors, has been involved with the program which has contributed to Armenian teachers’ salaries since its founding.
“We adopted the program at our convention in Los Angeles. It was Rita Balian who was then the representative on our board who dealt with schools, and Edmond Azadian, another board member, who persuaded us that such an effort was necessary,” said Bedrosian.
At the time, reports from Armenia indicated that teachers were in a terrible situation. Thousands were immigrating to Russia, the US, Europe and Canada, because they could not make ends meet in Armenia.
“We knew we had to do something,” said Bedrosian, “therefore in 2000, the TCA Board of Administrators was formed, and simultaneously, we adopted the program for teachers.”
Today, TCA assists teachers in Yerevan, Garpi, Gumri and Stepanavan schools and as of 2008, a school located in the Lachin Corridor, Karabagh was added.
The schools were chosen with the assistance of the TCA branch in Yerevan and on the basis of the recommendation of the chapter chairman there.