By Kevork Keushkerian
LOS ANGELES and BERDZOR — Tekeyan Cultural Association’s Central Board of Directors of United States and Canada have sponsored four schools across the Republic of Armenia since the year 2000. They are in Yerevan, Garbi, Gyumri and Stepanavan. In 2011, a fifth school located in the city of Berdzor Republic of Artsakh, was added to the list.
Every year, a member of the Central Board of Directors visits those schools and oversees the distribution of funds to all teachers and staff members. In 2007, I was designated to visit and oversee the distribution of funds to the Vahan Tekeyan schools in Gyumri and Stepanavan. My wife, Silva, accompanied me and witnessed the incredible ceremony in which donations were given to those intended. That was an example of true accountability at work. Also, donors received a thank you note, along with the name of the teacher they had sponsored.
This year, once again, I was fortunate to visit the Vahan Tekeyan School in Berdzor and oversee the distribution of funds. My wife, Silva, accompanied me again and we participated in another wonderful ceremony. Afterwards, we were given a tour of the school grounds by the very hospitable staff. We were then invited to participate in a luncheon in Principal Anahit Kosakyan’s office.
Vahan Tekeyan Middle School in Berdzor, Artsakh has 240 students, 32 teachers and 17 staff members. The school is housed in a three-story building, which is not in good structural condition. Mrs. Kosakyan proudly mentioned that a few of her former students have come back, after receiving their university degrees, to teach at their Alma Mater.
Luckily, different sponsors from Montreal, Canada and Paris, France have undertaken the task of renovating a few of the classrooms and naming them after people who are dear to their hearts and/or modern-day heroes of Armenian descent. This is a very noble cause for the safety and wellbeing of our children.