FAR has tried to support the children of the Tavush region in recent years. This Christmas generous donors have helped us to continue this pattern. The goal of this year’s visit to Tavush was to deliver gifts and awards to local children at Aygepar Kindergarten and the Berd Art School from American supporter John Thomas, the Megerian Rugs Company and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
Two years ago, John provided financial support and gifts to 53 of the region’s needy and orphaned children, which included stationary, clothes, candy and various Christian symbols and items. This time John gave the children 10,000 AMD along with some sweets. The children were extremely happy to receive the presents from someone who has now become a dear friend.
During our visit we also presented the children gifts provided by UMCOR, which included toiletries and stationary.
The Megerian Rugs Company, which has operated in Armenia since 2002, also helped to support children in Tavush. Established in New York in 1917, the company began by repairing and refurbishing old rugs to resell. Today, its purpose is to continue the tradition of Armenian embroidery and rug weaving. So, Mergerian provided the Berd Art School students with high quality materials, including yarn and special dyes to enable children do the work they love and carry on the traditions of Armenian rug making.
During our visit to the art school, we saw that the children were extremely happy to receive pounds and pounds of threads for rug making. Fourteen year-old Mariam Badalyan said not only would she finally be able to finish weaving the small rug that she’d previously left, she would also be able to weave a bigger rug with more intricate patterns.
Group instructor Satik Davtyan said children previously had to stop attending the classes because of the lack of threads. Now they have the opportunity to weave rugs and improve their skills.
All the Christmas gifts were given out at St. Astvatsatsin Church, thanks to the help and participation of Father Aram Mirzoyan (Der Aram), spiritual father of Berd. All participants recited Armenian prayer “Hayr Mer” and were later blessed and congratulated by Der Aram.