Susanna Mkrtchyan, Gyumri resident and Director of the Igityan Center for Aesthetics, lost her home in the 1988 earthquake.
Fifteen days after the earthquake, a few trucks loaded with clothing stopped at the Igityan Center, the only building in Gyumri that had been spared destruction by the earthquake. It served as a crisis center at the time. FAR, which was born in response to the earthquake, was among one of the first organizations to send emergency humanitarian assistance to Gyumri, mainly consisting of food, clothing and medication.
“We unloaded the trucks and waited until nighttime to distribute the bags to people who were placed in the tents, those whose houses had been completely destroyed. We left the bags in front of their tents late at night because if we did so during the day, we wouldn’t be able to control people. They were desperate, homeless, angry, and they wanted more and more support.
“We also received shoes and I packed them nicely and took them to the hospital to give the packages to mothers for their kids. I also recollect receiving soy powder, but since this was new to Armenia people didn't know how to use it. I started making biscuits, kasha, matsun out of soy powder, and the local TV station even made some programs to show people how to make meals out of it.” — Susanna Mkrtchyan