YEREVAN — The 2020 Artsakh war took away so much from Armenians. Whether it was the lives of brave soldiers, the homes of the Armenians of Artsakh, or the sacred sites of Armenian Christianity, these immense losses, though devastating, amplified the Armenian people’s need to unify across all fronts for the betterment of the country. Unfortunately, much of that motivation was lost after the war and the necessary efforts and initiatives to prepare for a better future are not being completed. Reasons for this range from distrust of institutions and lack of transparency to challenges in connecting with the people and areas of most need. While many nonprofits coordinated successful fundraisers and efforts to provide aid, for many people interested in contributing their skills or collaborating on projects, there was still no obvious place to do so. reArmenia, however, hopes to change that.
reArmenia is the first Armenian platform dedicated not only to fundraising for existing initiatives, but also for bringing together those passionate about new projects to create teams and providing a framework for teams already working to invite on new collaborators.
Originally the creation of the Tufenkian Foundation, reArmenia aims to fuse knowledge, experience, and the network of all Armenian people.
“We all know people can donate money, but that’s just one way to help,” explained reArmenia’s communications influencer Natella Avanesyan, “Many Armenians have the skills and desires to help in a non-monetary way, but no place to do so.” And this is truly where reArmenia really distinguishes itself.
The platform is currently divided in two branches: fundraiser and collaborations. A fundraiser is an existing effort which has a team, plan and budget, and is directly seeking fundraising through the organization’s website. An initiative, on the other hand, seeks people to help with their knowledge and experience, and has the potential to become a project — though not all collaborations necessarily need money or fundraising. The process for joining a team is rather simple; all opportunities are listed on their webpage, and a potential contributor can look through for a topic or position of interest, and then connect directly with the team to see if there is a fit. If someone is interested in creating their own initiative or hosting their project on the platform, likewise they can apply through the website. reArmenia considers all types of fundraiser/collaborations except for ones on military and political issues. This decision is intentionally made due to the fact that it is an apolitical organization and for security reasons, a proposal related to the military cannot be made transparent to the standard they hold.
One project launching soon is the Hakobavank Revival, which is seeking funds to restore a seventh-century monastery complex in Artsakh. Once the seat of a catholicos in the 13th century, Hakobavank is on par with Dadivank and Gandzasar in terms of religious and cultural significance in Artsakh. Currently, due to years of neglect, the monastery is on the verge of collapse, and a dedicated team is hoping to gather the finances to restore it. Gayane Gevorgyan, who joined the effort in its earlier stages, currently serves as the campaign manager.