By Alin K. Gregorian
BELMONT, Mass. — A group of young friends from the Greater Boston area is putting its collective power together to help a nun in Gumri who is bringing joy to poor and orphaned children in Armenia.
The friends are organizing a fundraiser to help Sister Arousiag Sajonian, the founding principal of the Armenian Sisters’ Academy of Radnor, Penn. and a long-time advocate for children in Armenia, on Friday, August 6, here.
Carolyn Atinizian, who served on the ad hoc group planning the evening, explained how she and friends, Tanya Najarian-Iliadis and Melissa Krikorian, were visiting Armenia together in 2007 and heard about the tremendous efforts of Sajonian in Gumri. Atinizian, an alumna of the Armenian Sisters’ Academy in Lexington, and her friends, were eager to meet Sajonian and thus went to her camp, called the Our Lady of Armenia Summer Camp in Tsaghkadzor, about one hour outside of Gumri. The experience is one they have not yet forgotten.
“When we got there, we called ahead and some of the kids performed and put together a small program for us,” Atinizian recalled. The children, she said, were laughing and regaling the guests with stories of what they do, where they sleep and what sort of activities they do. The activities, she said, include both educational programs as well as sports.
The children, she said, either come from desperately poor families in and around Gumri or are orphans, and the camp is a chance for them to spend 17 day in a fun environment, away from their day-to-day difficult lives.