Before entering Gavar Orphanage, Marlena Manukyan was under the care of FAR’s Children’s Support Foundation Center (CSFC) for a brief period. She is the only daughter of a troubled single mother who sought long-term treatment for her emotional problems prior to Marlena’s entrance to Gavar Orphanage.
Now in the 10th grade at Gavar Secondary School, Marlena gets excellent grades and has a deep passion for painting. She frequently attends the local youth art center and recently held an exhibit of some of her work to raise money for disabled children.
“When I came to the orphanage, the environment was very unusual for me. I felt depressed and was always silent. Very seldom would I communicate with other children. I started to paint in order to fill the gap,” Marlena said. “My paintings helped me to express myself. I always painted what I wanted to say. So, little by little, I started to speak through my work and I overcame the stressful situation. I am also thankful that during those hard times my friends as well as my instructors at the orphanage could understand me. I love them all very much. They are my family.”
She dreams to continue her education, attend university and eventually become a lawyer. Marlena hopes that FAR’s Gulamerian Scholarship Program, which has helped to support the education of Armenia’s orphans for the past decade, will give her the opportunity to fulfill her dream.
“I’ve witnessed how adults behave and mistreat people. Often through their wrong behavior or mistake, they impact the fates of people like me and ignore the established laws. I want to become a lawyer and follow the law to help people,” she said.
As for her hobby of painting, Marlena says it is the way she speaks from her soul. It is something she will never give up. I believe that Marlena will have a bright future. At FAR, we will always try to lend a helping hand to children like her.