A Truly All Armenian Contribution To The Homeland
Interview with Armineh Carapeti, Chairman of the Hayastan All Armenian Fund’s Local Committee in Great Britain.Armineh Carapeti has been with the Hayastan All Armenian Fund since its inception in 1992 and have seen the organization develop to become a significant contributor to the countries economic development during its most challenging years - the 1988 earthquake, Karabakh conflict, economic blockade- and their aftermath.
Construction of the Yerankyuni district (10 residential buildings) in Spitak, Lori region, is one of the large-scale projects sponsored by the local committee in the earthquake zone.
At the 16th meeting of the Hayastan All Armenian Fund’s Board of Trustees on June 19, 2007, among other contributors, Armineh Carapeti was acknowledged for her invaluable input into the Fund’s activities and was awarded by President Robert Kocharyan with the Anania Shirakatsi medal.
Q: Does your funding come from companies, or is it entirely provided by individuals?
A: The funding comes from various Armenian Organisations and Trusts, small businesses, and mostly from individual families within the community.
Q: Your recent projects - such as the reconstruction of the regional hospital in Artik, ICU and Plastic & Surgery Department in Kanaker-Zeitun Medical Centre - included recovery of health care institutions in Armenia. Do you prioritise healthcare. Is it a policy or just coincidence?
A: As you know we spent many years focusing primarily on the construction of 10 residential buildings of the Yerankiuni district in Spitak and the overall project was completed just last year. As well as ongoing contributions towards the under-17 children of deceased and first-degree invalid soldiers, we decided subsequently to explore different projects which people had expressed a specific interest in: healthcare, education and culture were all areas which attracted funding and a positive response from our donors. As well as large-scale projects such as Artik hospital, we continually undertake smaller projects which are financed by various individuals who would like to donate funds for a very specific project, and Kanaker-Zeitun Medical Centre was such a project, funded entirely by donations in memory of a few individuals who passed away recently.
Q: You have been fundraising for 15 years now. What were the challenges then and how they have changed? How do you appreciate the community’s involvement now?
A: Challenges are today the same as they were 15 years ago: to motivate the Armenian community to recognise their duty for National Giving, and for every single person to give within their means to make this a truly “All-Armenian” contribution to the Homeland. Obviously the initial challenge was to bring the concept of the Fund to people’s homes and to build up a positive reputation over the years. Now that we have established an outstanding reputation for “getting the work done”, future challenges are to maintain the constant stream of funding by ensuring that coming generations also continue the sense of responsibility that their parents have shown in the past.
Q: Set up 15 years ago with a unique mission of helping establish sustainable development in Armenia and Artshakh, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund is now best known for its infrastructure development in Armenia and Karabakh. How do you see it developing in the future, and what are its major challenges?
A: The Hayastan All-Armenian Fund was founded in order to unite and coordinate the intellectual and financial potential of all Armenians throughout the world, in support of the realisation of vitally important programmes in Armenia and Artsakh, thus becoming the symbol for National Unity. Its aim was to reconstruct and regenerate our ancestral Homeland so that every Armenian, irrespective of wealth or status, would be able to unite with their fellow Armenians in order to not dissipate their powers and means but rather concentrate and focus their efforts through a single channel. The Fund has always grown hand in hand with the growth of our newly established Independent Republic and as such has reacted to the challenges of the day, including the 1988 earthquake, the need for better housing, healthcare, and education and so on. The Fund will continue to act as the ultimate umbrella foundation with an aim to develop infrastructure as well as humanitarian programmes. We will continue to operate transparently, show accountability and maintain professional standards in the work we carry out.
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