According to a 2016 UNICEF report, one-third of Armenian children are poor and vulnerable. Such children often face difficult life situations, as they live in families that fail to provide them with sufficient care, parenting, resources, and education. The “Family and Community” NGO aims to help these children, along with their families, by addressing their alienation from society, by activating and reintegrating them into living communities, and by emphasizing mutual support.
Beneficiaries are identified either directly or by referral from the regional administration, police department, municipality, schools and/or other social institutions. At present, “Family and Community” annually serves 110 families, 130 children, as well as 50 community members.
“Family and Community” maintains a vision of children being raised in caring families, within societies living in harmony, where everyone has equal rights and opportunities. It values the family as the most important institution of the healthy and prosperous society.
Clearly, conditions in Metsamor are very far from this ideal, as the region suffers from high unemployment, lack of public and private investment, and scarce opportunities for cultural enrichment. In such an environment, “Family and Community” emphasizes the following services:
— Social and psychological support, counseling for children and families
— Educational services for children and their parents
— Organizing daycare for children
— Rehabilitation for children, especially juveniles, who have violated the law
— Cultural and community projects (Painting Club, Singing Club, Puppet Theatre, etc.)
“Family and Community” was established in the town of Metsamor, Armavir region, in 2013, after serving for many years as a local branch of “Zangakatun” NGO. It is a joint program of the Tufenkian Foundation, Armenian Apostolic Church – Armavir Diocese, WCC Armenia Round Table Foundation, UMCOR and PH International.
“Family and Community” is active both in its local community and in the larger Armavir region, thus joining a broad partnership network. The NGO is also involved in developing legislative reforms, new strategic projects and concepts. In particular, it is a member of the “Children Protection Network” and is an active supporter of children’s rights.
Due to its long-standing commitment to the development and implementation of alternative support models for underprivileged and vulnerable children and families, the NGO has achieved national recognition as a provider of quality and sustainable community services. One of the key indicators of their success is the replication of the NGO's model of service provision and community work by other Centers throughout Armenia.
For more information, visit “Family and Community” NGO’s official website.