Children from single-parent households who are supported by the Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program have the opportunity to attend summer camp each year. The camps provide a healthy outlet to children who are able to enjoy 20 days of fun and activity, while also getting a break from the pressures of home and work.
The camps also provide opportunity to parents of these children. In fact, several instructors at the Siranush camp in Yeghegnadzor like Ramela Danielyan are also single-mothers who rely on CASP support year round.
Ramelia came to Siranush from Kapan. Her past is mixture of both happiness and sorrow. Born in the border village of Davit Bek, she was in eighth grade when Azeris began bombing her village and was forced to move with her classmates to Kajaran to finish school. Ramela attended Yerevan State Engineering University’s Kapan campus. While there, she met and married Edik Vardanyan and had a son and a daughter. Their happiness didn’t last long, however. Edik fought in the Karabagh War and was killed in a firearm explosion on August 5, 2001.
“Of course, it is impossible to erase the pain, but it is still possible to soothe and console it,” Ramela said.
Having always loved teaching, Ramela decided to continue her education at Yerevan State Pedagogical Institute, where she studied elementary education and worked in their village school. It was there that she learned about CASP. And while Ramela herself never spent time at a summer camp growing up, she now works as a camp instructor.
“The camp is like a family,” she said. “You should see what talented children we have here. They work everyday to improve.” She does not make a distinction between her own children and the rest of the group and she complements all of her work with love.
It is worth mentioning that Ramela also writes. She shared with me her lyrical writings, tender and filled with love. This love, coupled with her positive outlook on life, will indeed help her to continue on a positive path.