Eleventh Pan-European Phoneathon generates 1.3 million euros in pledgesThe Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s 11th Pan-European Phoneathon was held in France from November 18 to 21, garnering extraordinary grassroots support from Armenian communities across Europe. The annual event, which was realized with the participation of the fund’s French, German, Swiss, Dutch, and Greek affiliates, resulted in almost 1.3 million euros in pledges. Proceeds from the Phoneathon will be used to build or restore water pipelines and networks in Artsakh’s Togh, Hartashen, Ukhtadzor, Aknaghbyur, and Sargsashen villages. The raised funds will also benefit various development projects in Armenia’s Tavush Region.
Ever since its launch 11 years ago, the Phoneathon has been facilitated by telecommunications giant France Telecom Orange, the event’s main corporate sponsor and partner. As in previous years, France Telecom Orange donated logistical resources to the latest Phoneathon, including the use of its offices and onsite telecommunications equipment in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, and Montpellier. In addition, the company provided the Phoneathon free telephone connections for the duration of the event.
“I am impressed by the wonderful generosity of European-Armenian donors in helping improve the lives of thousands throughout Armenia and Artsakh,” said Bedros Terzian, chairman of the fund’s French affiliate. “Despite the current economic downturn, people responded enthusiastically to our appeals for contributions. Indeed, their positive response was a testament to their confidence in the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund and willingness to continue to support our mission.”
For four 12-hour days, some 650 volunteers called Armenian households and businesses throughout Europe, urging them to help our compatriots in the far-flung rural communities of Armenia and Artsakh. By the conclusion of the Phoneathon, over 11,200 supporters made pledges, surpassing last year’s results by almost ten percent.
Among the celebrities and community leaders making appeals for donations were French film star GÈrard Depardieu and French-Armenian musician AndrÈ Manoukian, who was appointed godfather of Phoneathon 2010. “I call on you to make contributions in support of vital projects in Armenia and Artsakh,” Manoukian said in his appeal. “If we don’t do it, who will? Around 10,000 residents of remote villages in the homeland depend on your assistance.”
The Phoneathon’s closing ceremony was attended, among others, by Vigen Chitechyan, Armenia’s ambassador to France, and Mireille Le Van, chairperson of the Orange Foundation. After expressing his heartfelt gratitude to the Phoneathon’s partners and volunteers, Bedros Terzian announced the breakdown of pledges made during the fundraiser, as follows: 1.1 million euros from France, 70,000 from Germany, 18,000 from Switzerland, 46,000 from Greece, and 21,000 from the Netherlands.
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