By Gabriella Gage
PHILADELPHIA — When George S. Yacoubian Jr., and his wife, Erica, began the process of adopting a child from Armenia in 2005, they knew that their lives and the life of a child without a home would forever change. They did not know, however, that they were beginning a journey that would affect the lives of countless children in the process.
While visiting Armenia during the adoption process, they toured several orphanages and experienced first hand the conditions, in which the children were living. It was there that they met their daughter, Liliana, whom they would bring home on April 23, 2006, but their connection to the orphans of Armenia did not stop there.
“During that trip we also saw a few of the orphanages and all of them were in bad shape at that time,” said Yacoubian. After extensive research, Yacoubian and his wife found that there were not any organizations focusing directly on aiding these orphanages.
From there, the Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR) was born, and the Yacoubians organized a board of directors and began formal operations in 2006.