Mekhak Asryan was just two years old when his mother Syuzanna died from breast cancer. A few years later, his father Edik was killed in a car accident in Russia. Now 12, Mekhak lives with his grandparents and two aunts in Goris. While serious and somewhat withdrawn, he adamantly pursues his studies, along with piano lessons and his athletic endeavors. He recently won first prize in a national sports competition.
Mekhak was raised by his aunt Nune, whom he now calls “mother.”
“Mekhak is a very clever child,” Nune said. “He respects his elders and helps them in so many ways.”
This is the third year that Mekhak has received a stipend from the Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP), an initiative of the Women’s Guild Central Council of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern). Through support from benefactors abroad, CASP helps children from low-income families who have lost one or both parents through the distribution of yearly stipends, which help them make ends meet. For Mekhak, this stipend impacts his entire family.
“With the money provided last year, we were able to buy fuel for the entire winter,” said Anahit Asryan, Mekhak’s grandmother. “This year, we will be able to pay the tuition fees of the boy’s training classes and we will also use the money to buy sport uniforms for Mekhak.”
Like, many who receive support from CASP, Anahit believes that such a program inspires hope and will help Mekhak to create a productive and brighter future.