The establishment of the Latin American affiliates was assisted by Hrach Hovhannisyan of the fund’s Executive Board. In August, during a string of visits in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, Hovhannisyan, who oversees affiliate operations and projects, met with various local Armenian-community representatives to discuss the fund’s programs and goals, and helped pave the way for the launch of the local offices in Argentina and Uruguay.
Hovhannisyan’s two-week mission kicked off in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he was honored with a fundraising dinner organized by Diruhi Burmayan, a local trustee of the fund. Proceeds from the event, which was attended by a large number of prominent Brazilian-Armenians, will benefit renovations at Yerevan’s Nork-Marash Hospital.
For over two decades, the Brazilian-Armenian community has been an outstanding supporter of humanitarian and development projects in the Armenian homeland. Prior to the creation of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund and in the wake of the 1988 Spitak quake, Brazilian-Armenians founded the Earthquake Committee, an aide organization which eventually led to the formation of the fund’s local affiliate. Brazilian-Armenians were among the first diaspora communities to assist in the construction of the Goris-Stepanakert Highway, one of the fund’s most ambitious pan-Armenian projects. Today the Brazilian affiliate supports a number of major humanitarian and healthcare projects in the homeland.
Hovhannisyan’s meetings in Brazil were met with the overwhelming enthusiasm of the Armenian community. Ochin Leon Mosditchian, chairman of the fund’s Brazilian affiliate, echoed that excitement when he said, “All of Mr. Hovhannisyan’s meetings were extremely productive. But I’d like to make special mention of his gathering with the youth. On that particular occasion, he not only was able to earn the respect and affection of our new generation, but become an inspiration for our future colleagues, supporters, and benefactors.”
The fund’s Argentinean affiliate, formed in 1992, is based in Buenos Aires, home to the vast majority of Argentina’s 70,000-strong Armenian community. The country’s second largest Armenian hub is found in Cordoba, with a community of 10,000. It is here that one of the two newest affiliates of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund was established last month. The launch also marked Argentina as the third country — after the United and Canada — to have two fund affiliates.
During his visit in Argentina, Hovhannisyan held meetings with fund trustee Eduardo Seferian, supporting member Jorge Vartparonian, and several other community leaders. Throughout his appearances at various local Armenian organizations, Hovhannisyan made detailed presentations of the fund’s current projects and programs and articulated its vision for the future.
Commenting on one of those presentations, Jorge Murekian, chairman of the Buenos Aires affiliate, stated, “I think it’s very important that we receive more frequent visits by members of the fund’s Executive Board. Hrach Hovhannisyan’s presentation became a great boost to our work, helping draw new supporters and donors. Our compatriots were delighted to hear of the fund’s current activities and forthcoming projects. We’re extremely pleased to have hosted this long-awaited meeting.”
After an eight-year hiatus, the fund’s affiliate in Montevideo, Uruguay, was reopened during Hovhannisyan’s visit. The affiliate will enable the relatively small Armenian community of Uruguay to streamline its efforts to assist the homeland.
Commenting on the launch of offices in Argentina and Uruguay, Hovhannisyan said, “The establishment of every new affiliate not only is cause for great celebration in Armenia and Artsakh, but further energizes the diaspora’s existing affiliates, as our continued growth gives them the wonderful sense of being part of a bigger and stronger family.”
Today the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund has 20 affiliates in 17 countries.