Since 2013, FAR’s multi-faceted and holistic Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program (BCPP) has been elevating families out of poverty in Armenia’s Berd region and setting them on a course to sustainable and prosperous lives that can carry forward for generations to come.
Sargis Khachatryan is a prime example of the bright future BCPP can create for the next generation of Armenians.
22-year-old Sargis started beekeeping when he was only a teenager in 2016 by installing just two hives in his yard. Now, thanks to purchases through the economic development component of BCPP, his stock has ballooned to 25 hives.
Sargis never formally learned beekeeping or farming practices, yet he has been cultivating various fruits and vegetables for years now.
Sargis lives in the village of Verin Tsaghkavan with his mother Aida, 42, who works in the village’s Community Administration. He was only two when his father left them. Now in his third year of studies in the Management Department of the Armenian State University of Economics, Sargis juggles multiple jobs – farming, beekeeping, greenhouses, and studies – and is always eager to increase his knowledge and help his mother.
Upon graduation, Sargis plans to come right back to Verin Tsaghkavan. “Ihave my house, my family and my bees here. Beekeeping is certainly tough work and requires a lot of time, especially in summer when the eggs are laid. You should inspect the hive every other week and make sure it’s healthy. My mom helps me when I am in Yerevan or am getting ready for my exams,” he said noting that beekeeping requires a 12-month full time commitment to collect a good harvest. “Most likely, I’ll get 10 kilograms of honey from each hive in autumn, meaning that each hive will earn $100 onaverage.”
“Beekeeping has become my passion; I like it more than farming. If every person likes their job, we’ll develop a strong country. I became strong thanks to my mother, who was both my parent, and a friend, and the best teacher in life,” he said with a candid smiled.
Thanks to leading support from The Mardigian Family Foundation, FAR’s Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program will continue to give Sargis and the communities of Berd paths toward self-reliance and economic independence.