The village of Artsni is situated in Lori region, the Northern part of Armenia. The region includes the administrative areas of Tumanyan, Tashir, Stepanavan, Gugarq and Spitak. The area of the region is 3,789 km2 (12, 7% of the territory of Armenia). There are 8 urban and 105 rural communities in the region. The regional center is the town of Vanadzor situated 125km away from Yerevan. The population of the region is 282,100. The population of Artsni village is 298.
In May of 1989 Artsni was populated by refugees from Azerbaijan, Karabakh, mainly Getashen. Some Armenians families moved here from Georgia. Before the conflict, the village was mostly populated by Azeris. The village is situated 195km from Yervan, 62km from Vanadzor and 0.4km from the state border with Georgia. The village is situated 1630-1700m above the sea. The climate is dry and cool with long, severe winters and short summers.
Artsni village is one of the communities included in the Hayastan All Armenian Fund comprehensive rural development program. Since 2007, a number of key projects have been realized in the village. Namely, in 2009, the Fund wrapped up the full renovation of the community school – a project made possible by the Government of India. In 2010, another core social infrastructure issue was solved with the establishment of a multi functional community center facility, which effectively incorporates the events hall, the health care point, the community library, computer room as well as community administration facilities. Yet another initiative augmented the ongoing state sponsored water supply network construction project, expanding it and making sure that both the school and the community center had a round the clock supply of water.
The implementation of these projects, coupled with increasing agricultural income of the villagers based on their cattle herding practices, have resulted in curbing the threatening wave of emigration that existed in the village before 2007.
One of the few core issues remaining in the village is the absence of natural gas supply network. Because of this, people have no alternative but to cut the ever diminishing forested areas. Another source of heat is electricity but heating the house with the electricity has proven to be too expensive for many villagers.
Within the Hayastan All Armenian Fund adopted project, sponsored by the Fund’s Germany local committee (Armenien-Fonds Hayastan-Fonds), the issue of gas supply for the village of Artsni had been solved. The project included the construction of a gas main that brought the gas to the village and an internal distribution network that effectively embraced all the households of the village, making sure that the entire community had access to natural gas. This project is projected to further improve the life of the ex refugees in their village and also prevent the impeding ecological issue by providing a viable and affordable alternative to cutting down trees.