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Bringing bread and hope to Artsakh



The months-long blockade had forced Lusine Lalayan into a desperate situation: with nine children to care for, the threat of starvation loomed over her family. In a heart-wrenching plea for help, she reached out to Zarine Petrosyan, a dedicated FAR social worker in Artsakh.

Lusine's distress call was nothing short of an SOS. The effects of prolonged inadequate nutrition rendered Lusine incapable of making the six mile journey to Martuni in search of bread. And besides the walk, that entailed waiting hours under the scorching sun with no certainty of even receiving food.

Moved by the family's dire circumstances, Zarine rallied with her fellow social workers. Together, they took on the lengthy queues, securing a precious cache of 10 loaves of bread. Zarine and her colleague Gayane embarked on the demanding 12-mile round trip, ensuring the delivery of life-saving sustenance to Lusine and her desperate family. In a display of solidarity and resourcefulness, they managed to gather some spoonful of sugar to sweeten the children’s hardships.

Zarine recounted the moment she arrived at Lusine's family's door: “When we opened the door, Alex dashed towards us, his eyes lighting up with anticipation, as if hoping to discover a piece of chocolate nestled within the packet. Just after, Lusine appeared; she had ventured to her neighbors to plea for bread. As Alex turned to her with a smile of pure delight, he exclaimed, ‘Mom, they've brought us bread!’” Zarine shared that the children's weight loss was stark since she’d seen them last. They were unable to walk with the vigor of youth.

“Our focus remains fixed on supporting this family. However, the harsh reality is that securing nourishment is an uphill battle due to the lack of resources, like fuel. Even when we manage to locate provisions, the daily journey to obtain them poses its own set of hardships. In our community, people are now contemplating the unthinkable… the sale of their cars to acquire a bike or a donkey," said Zarine adding: "How could the world tolerate this to happen to us... This is so painful..."

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