Intense renovations are in full swing at the Parakar School for Children with Disabilities, with September the deadline for all work to be completed in order to welcome students in time for the start of the new school year.
The school, which had fallen into a state of horrible disrepair until FAR decided to renovate it as part of our School Renovations initiative, aims to provide a safe learning environment and vocational skills training for adolescents and youth with mental and physical disabilities.
Armenia’s Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Arayik Harutyunyan visited Parakar in early June. He toured the already renovated and refurbished parts of the building which will soon be open for students to learn vocational skills like gardening, sewing and embroidery, hairdressing and auto repair, etc. He also visited the greenhouse, which was funded through an Ayo! initiative, and where vegetables are grown for school meals. He also saw the dormitory, which is in its final stage of renovation, and learned about activities set for the future.
To ensure better service be provided by Parakar’s staff during the 2019-20 school year and beyond, FAR coordinated Parakar staff visits to the NGO, Pyunik Armenian Association for the Disabled; ArBes Healthcare Center, Republican Children’s Rehabilitation Center, and the FAR Children’s Center. Participants were introduced to each location’s services and familiarized with specific techniques and methodologies. They also had a chance to meet the providers, ask questions and establish contacts. Such visits are instrumental in terms of building bridges between facilities and moving toward the creation of a network of specialists in the fields of education and child protection.