The highlights of the visit were the opening ceremonies of a newly constructed school in Spitakashen, a village in the Martuni Region, and a newly built water-delivery system in the village of Sos, also in Martuni. The jubilant community events were held on May 6 and 7, respectively.
Spitakashen’s new, two-story school was necessitated by the fact that the old campus, which was built in 1935, had fallen into disrepair and could no longer meet the needs of the community. The construction of the new school was co-financed by the fund’s Toronto affiliate and the government of Artsakh. The sponsors also provided the school with all necessary furnishings and a computer room.
Currently 85 students attend the school, but the campus was designed to accommodate up to 130 students, given Spitakashen’s demographic-growth projections. According to the school principal, the building’s modern amenities, including its well-equipped classrooms, bright and spacious events hall, and computer room, will be a boon to the learning process, as they will be instrumental in creating a pleasant and nurturing atmosphere for students.
In his speech during the opening ceremony in Spitakashen, Migirdic Migirdician, chairman of the Toronto affiliate, urged young students to strive to excel at their studies. He believed, he said, that each child has the potential of growing up to become a scientist, artist, engineer, or even president of the republic.
Already the students of the school have shown initiative to care after their new campus and help it make even more attractive. Recently, with assistance from the mayor’s office, they planted 50 fruit trees around the building.
Community celebrations continued on May 7, when the village of Sos marked the launch of its new water-delivery system with a festive opening ceremony. The Sos project, which includes a new, 7.6-kilometer internal potable-water network as well as a reservoir, was co-financed by the fund’s French affiliate and the government of Artsakh.
For the past several decades the residents of Sos, which has a 300-year history, obtained drinking water from a spring, carrying the precious liquid in buckets to their homes and businesses. Those days will soon become a distant memory, as the village now has around-the-clock access to a state-of-the-art water-delivery system. In their remarks during the opening ceremony, Executive Director Ara Vardanyan and NKR Minister of Urban Development Anahit Vardanyan conveyed their heartfelt congratulations to the people of Sos.
Other project sites visited by the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund delegation included the secondary school of Gishi Village (financed by the Vardanyan family foundation, the government of Artsakh, and funds raised during Telethon 2008), the secondary school of Chartar Village (co-financed by the fund’s French affiliate and the government of Artsakh), and the No. 11 School of Stepanakert (co-financed by Armenia Fund, Inc. and the government of Artsakh). Another site which the delegation visited was that of the future Cardiology Center of Goris, in Armenia (co-financed by the fund’s French and Lebanese affiliates).
Throughout the site visits, delegation members noted the high quality and timely implementation of the construction and renovation projects.
While in Artsakh, the delegation was honored with a dinner hosted by NKR President Bako Sahakyan.
The delegation also visited Shushi, where currently the fund is implementing several infrastructure projects identified by the government of Artsakh as priority areas. The initiatives include the reconstruction or renovation of streets, residential-home roofs, schools, the Shushi Public Library, and the city’s Cultural Center.
In Shushi the delegation was hosted by Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, Prelate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Finally, the delegation visited Shushi’s St. Ghazanchetsots Church and participated in celebrations marking Shushi Liberation Day, on May 8.