Once, the fearful eyes of 4-year-old Elen now mirror vibrant hues and joyous expressions, as she has discovered peace and tranquility among fifteen other kindergarteners. Their excitement makes her feel happy and cheered up, compelling her to join the laughter and leave behind the sufferings she endured in Artsakh since 2020.
Elen remains silent about those challenging days, leaving her mother, Karine, to share the details with a heavy heart, struggling to contain her tears.
Having been displaced twice in just three years, Elen's family of four has recently found solace in Ijevan, Tavush province. Elen has become the first child from Artsakh to attend the FAR-supported Ijevan Community N1 Kindergarten which underwent an incredible transformation in 2019 through the generous donation of the Mardigian Family Foundation, and where healthy nutrition to children is sponsored by Ted and Mariann Hovivian Family of NYC.
"The 44-day war, the blockade, and the September 19 attack took a toll on Elen. She became very nervous, easily upset, and would cry all the time. She was literally exhausted," shares Elen's mom. "When we first brought her to the kindergarten, she weighed only 12 kg, which was abnormal for her age. But within two weeks, she gained weight and is now more than 15 kg," she continues, noting that the black circles under Elen's eyes have disappeared as well.
Elen has blossomed into a social butterfly, forming connections with her fellow classmates. However, her closest bonds are with Hayk and Arsen, two other displaced children from Artsakh. They share a common language— the Artsakh dialect. Yet, Elen is determined to overcome this linguistic barrier and broaden her circle of friends.
"I was truly worried about Elen's health and the challenges she faced with malnutrition. Thanks to the incredible support from FAR and this compassionate staff, Elen has undergone a remarkable transformation," shares Karine with heartfelt gratitude. "I've made the decision to enroll my son in the same kindergarten when he's a bit older. The impact has been so profound, and I want him to experience the same nurturing environment that has brought about such positive changes in Elen's life.”
To make a meaningful impact in the fight against malnutrition among displaced and rural children of Armenia, we urgently seek your support through your generous donation to FAR today.