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2023 Annual Report

Access to education is a fundamental right for all children. Through its Education Program, FAR strives to provide greater opportunities for education by improving educational resources and rehabilitating schools, providing professional development opportunities to teachers, and through greater access to higher education. 

FUND FOR ARMENIAN RELIEF PROGRAMS

Education

Access to education is a fundamental right for all children. Through its Education Program, FAR strives to provide greater opportunities for education by improving educational resources and rehabilitating schools, providing professional development opportunities to teachers, and through greater access to higher education. 

Fifty students were also supported by the Gulamerian Vocational Training Program, which specifically helps youth who grew up in orphanages to lead self-sufficient lives through vocational training or university education.

 

During 2023, 60 FAR scholarship alumni graduated and received their university degrees. The majority had found employment by the end of 2023. 

 

In the spirit of community service, FAR also asks that its scholarship students cultivate a sense of service and agency in their communities. For some scholarship recipients, this took the form of volunteering at FAR’s summer camp or translating the letters written by CASP recipients to their sponsors abroad.

FAR SCHOLARSHIPS

FAR’s Scholarship Program and the Gulamerian Vocational Training Program provide unique opportunities for Armenia’s young people to attain higher education. 

 

During 2023, 460 students, either first-time or continuing, were supported by one of FAR’s 15 scholarships. With a diverse portfolio, FAR’s scholarships support students who aspire to work in fields such as nursing, journalism and music, and to study at a wide range of institutions. Supported students included mainly from low-income families, families living in border regions, and former CASP beneficiaries, as well as the 53 recipients in 2023 who were forcibly displaced from Artsakh.

“My parents could not afford to pay more tuition and I hadn’t [saved] a penny back then. I decided that I would go for a master’s degree if I got a scholarship. And I did,” she said with pride.

Ani is now back at YSU and engaged in several reporting projects. She also works part-time at a local independent media station called Factor TV where she tackles challenging subjects in her stories, such as the rights of Artsakh’s displaced.

 

Ani wants to become an editor-in-chief or a news director in the future and hopes to focus her work on human rights and law.

“I aspire to take on a leadership role in journalism where I can share the editorial direction of a publication and mentor aspiring journalists. I also aim to become a recognized expert in a specific area of journalism in the field,” Ani said. “Ultimately, I want to leave a lasting impact on the industry and inspire the next generation of journalists.”

As a child, Ani always wanted to become a doctor but she had a change of heart in high school. "I liked how journalism deals with human lives and values,” said Ani who noted that one of her first journalism projects touched upon the environmental problems of her native village in Haghartsin, Armenia.
 
Upon completing her bachelor’s degree at Yerevan State University (YSU), Ani initially started working, putting her dream of earning a master’s degree in journalism on hold. That is until she learned about the FAR Ester Ajemian Scholarship, one of the many that make up FAR’s Scholarship Program portfolio. She applied immediately.

“FAR has played a big role in this,” she said.

Ani Tamrazyan

HIGHLIGHTED BENEFICIARY

TWENTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD ANI TAMRAZYAN HAS FOUND HER DREAM PROFESSION IN JOURNALISM.

SCHOOL REHABILITATION

Through school renovation and refurbishment FAR bolsters the facilities and resources available to students in Armenia. Often overlooked as a crucial component for a good education, poor infrastructure leads to conditions like frigid classrooms and insufficient restrooms or learning spaces, all of which can impede children’s ability to learn and interfere with their well-being. As such, FAR invests in improving schools in some of the most impoverished and remote communities of the country, where populations are particularly in need. 

 

Support to the Parakar School for Children and Youth with Special Needs continued during 2023 with teacher and specialist training that enabled the application of multiple innovative methods aimed at helping children’s learning processes and assisting in their behavioral change. 

 

A five-year renovation completed in 2022 transformed the school from a ramshackle and deteriorating facility to one that attracts more and more young people who wish to pursue vocational studies. Each year, more than 100 students attend Parakar for its vocational training programs.

During the summer, another long-term initiative, the Byurakan Science Camp once again brought together 38 schoolchildren from different regions of Armenia to the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory to learn more about physics and astronomy. 

 

FAR also collaborated with the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory and the Armenian Astronomical Society to facilitate scientific lectures and meetings with accomplished young scientists at 30 different schools in Armenia. More than 1,500 schoolchildren attended. 

 

The Eco-Education Center at the Yerevan Botanical Garden was created in 2023 to organize science education classes for schoolchildren and research space for university students. About 1,500 children visited the center during 2023.

 

Finally, the Vanadzor Engineering Education Center, which offers free two-year courses in programming, and mechanical and electrical engineering for youth ages 14 to 16, welcomed 31 students, including 15 girls, from Vanadzor and nearby communities during 2023.

STEM FOR RURAL ARMENIA

The STEM for Rural Armenia project enhances STEM education for children from remote regions through interactive introductions by scientists, experiences like camps and activities, development of labs in rural schools, and teacher training. This initiative is implemented in the border regions of Berd, Noyemberyan and Ijevan in Tavush Province, Sisian in Syunik Province, and Vanadzor in Lori Province. Many diverse activities were implemented during 2023 as part of this project. 

FAR partnered with the Ayb Educational Foundation to introduce new methods and approaches to STEM subjects to teachers and students in the Berd and Sisian communities. More than 100 children from the Berd Region and 20 children from the Sisian Region participated in practical courses on STEM topics. Forty-five chemistry and physics teachers from Berd and 21 teachers from Sisian were trained. 

Powerful Mind NGO also partnered with FAR to jointly organize a science camp, which more than 200 high school students from 21 different schools in the Berd Region attended. The “World of Knowledge” science competition was also held as part of this camp. The 25 winning students visited scientific research centers, university laboratories, and met with recognized ANSEF researchers

YERVANT TERZIAN ARMENIAN NATIONAL SCIENCE AND EDUCATION FUND (ANSEF)

The Yervant Terzian Armenian National Science and Education Fund, better known as ANSEF, enables scientists to stay in their home country and contribute to the advancement of research and development in Armenia. Through grants awarded to individual research groups, scholars and researchers are given the opportunity to explore new ideas or advance existing research projects. 

 

In 2023, 22 different research groups, made up of 70 scientists, received ANSEF grants. Eight of the principle investigators (PIs) were under 35. Thirteen of the PIs were women. Each group received a $5,000 grant to support their projects in specializations as diverse as biology, biotechnology, chemistry, physics, and Armenian studies, among others. 

 

Several research groups participated in international conferences and symposiums where they presented their research. In addition, 12 of their articles were published in international journals. 

 

A new partnership was also established through which undergraduate students in math are paired with ANSEF scholars as a way to encourage their studies and prepare them for their future career paths. 

 

Since ANSEF’s inception in 2000, more than $3 million in grants have been given to Armenia’s researchers and scientists.  

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ANSEF

Scientists supported to pursue innovative research projects

70

STEM for Rural Armenia

Children learned about STEM topics through meetings and practical courses

1,500

FAR Scholarship Program

Students pursued higher education with help from a FAR scholarship

460

EDUCATION

By the Numbers

Jerair Nishanian Foundation

Kourken Yegarian

Levon & Selma Margosian Fund

Mardigian Foundation

Margaret Ajemian Ahnert

Mathevosian Fund

Mirak - Weissbach Foundation

The Norman K. Miller Charitable Fund

Pontish Yeramyan – “Garabed and Armineh Zambak Foundation”

Sayan Foundation

SJS Charitable Trust

The Tovmas Fund

Fr. Yeprem and Yn. Judy Kelekian

Yeramyan Family Fund

Dr. Aram Chobanian Family Foundation

Armenian Engineers & Scientists of America (AESA)

Avanessians Family Foundation

Avedis and Arsho Baghsarian Foundation

Cherchian Family Foundation

Constantinople Armenian Relief Society (C.A.R.S.)

Dadourian Foundation

Dennis and Linda Tarzian

Dickran and Lynn Barsamian

Edna Galo

Errol Hovsep Karakash - “Hovsep Foundation”

Harold and Josephine Gulamerian Foundation

Hovsep, Siranoush and Mary Bahadourian Fund

HoVeKim Foundation

James and Marta Batmasian

Margaret Ajemian Ahnert

Mathevosian Fund

Mirak - Weissbach Foundation

The Norman K. Miller Charitable Fund

Pontish Yeramyan – “Garabed and Armineh Zambak Foundation”

Sayan Foundation

SJS Charitable Trust

The Tovmas Fund

Fr. Yeprem and Yn. Judy Kelekian

Yeramyan Family Fund

Edna Galo

Errol Hovsep Karakash - “Hovsep Foundation”

Harold and Josephine Gulamerian Foundation

Hovsep, Siranoush and Mary Bahadourian Fund

HoVeKim Foundation

James and Marta Batmasian

Jerair Nishanian

Foundation

Kourken Yegarian

Levon & Selma Margosian Fund

Mardigian Foundation

Dr. Aram Chobanian Family Foundation

Armenian Engineers & Scientists of America (AESA)

Avanessians Family Foundation

Avedis and Arsho Baghsarian Foundation

Cherchian Family Foundation

Constantinople Armenian Relief Society (C.A.R.S.)

Dadourian Foundation

Dennis and Linda Tarzian

Dickran and Lynn Barsamian

EDUCATION

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