The community center, which houses the mayor’s office, a health clinic, a library, and an events hall, was rebuilt and furnished by the fund with financing from its Montreal affiliate. The new natural-gas network, which has a total length of 5.5 kilometers, was financed by the fund’s German affiliate.
Although the renovations and furnishing of the 120-square-meter community center were completed months ago, the structure’s official opening was postponed until September 24 to accommodate the schedules of invited benefactors from abroad. The opening ceremonies were attended by Antranik Shirinian, chairman of the fund’s Montreal affiliate; Ara Vardanyan, executive director of the fund; benefactors and other guests from Germany; regional-government officials; and a large gathering of the local community.
As he delivered his remarks during the ceremonies, Artsni mayor Khenko Khachanesyan thanked the project sponsors and said, “If the village is developed, if it’s provided with everything that’s necessary for its sustainment, then our residents will have no reason to leave. On the contrary, the community will thrive and grow.”
Only two years ago, few in Artsni would have expected that a significant development initiative, let alone two concurrent such projects, would soon be carried out here. Today these projects are breathing new life into the village, which has also rejoiced at the sight of a swallow nest in a nook of the renovated community center, taking it as a symbol of good things to come.
In 2010 the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund implemented another major development project in Artsni, the reconstruction and furnishing of the community school, with financing provided by the government of India. Most of the residents of Artsni, which is located less than half a mile from the Georgian border, have moved here from Georgia or are refugees from Azerbaijan.