Distributing aid in Tavush

Knights of Vartan and Ayo Program of FAR Team Up for COVID-19 Relief

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By Gohar Palyan

NEW YORK/YEREVAN — The Knights and Daughters of Vartan, joining the Ayo program of the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, raised over $10,000 for food and everyday necessities for people in the Tavush border region of Armenia.

COVID-19 is spreading. The lock down in Armenia has left scores of people with either limited income or no income at all. They needed help more than ever. Knights of Vartan Past Grand Commander Nigoghos Atinizian initiated a matching fund. He and his wife, Roset donated $5,000 to be matched by funds raised by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan and friends.

Distributing aid in Tavush

“People in Tavush region are hardworking and I have met many of them during my frequent visits to Armenia. We know the pandemic is temporary and one day we will overcome it. But there are families who need our urgent support now and we would like to stand by their side during this needed time” said Nigoghos Atinizian.

Just one week after announcing the matching fund drive to the Knights and Daughters of Vartan community across the United States, over $10,000 was raised for COVID-19 relief in the Tavush region.

The Tavush region has the longest geographical border with Azerbaijan. The region is a strategic location and for decades the Knights and Daughters of Vartan and its members have been involved in numerous charitable projects to help support its people. Among those efforts is the COVID-19 Relief project with Ayo. It is essential given the current pandemic that now spreads in Armenia and in the world.

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During the last several weeks, and using the money raised during the matching fundraising drive, the Ayo program staff has distributed 400 packages to some 400 families in the Tavush region. The packages include basic necessities as well as food. We know that along with receiving their package of food, these families also receive emotional support. They realize that they are not alone and that during these difficult times, their brothers and sisters across the border and around the world have them in their thoughts.

There are several other projects that the Knights and Daughters of Vartan have undertaken as members continue to show their support for their brothers and sisters in Armenia.

“We are so thankful to Past Grand Commander Nigoghos and Roset Atinizian for their generous donation and to the members of the Knights of Vartan who rose to the occasion to help our homeland.  As members of the Knights of Vartan we are committed to helping our homeland along with our communities in the diaspora,” expressed Grand Commander Steven Adams.

Aid collected for Tavush

Ayo! is a fundraising platform of FAR. By providing a vehicle to raise money for local development projects, it allows the people of Armenia to make positive changes in their society.

For or more information about the FAR visit www.farusa.org and about Ayo! Visit   www.weareayo.org. To support COVID19 relief in Armenia via Ayo program visit https://weareayo.org/donate/covid-19 .

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