As the children of a fallen war veteran, Ruben, 15, Davit, 13, Meline, 11, and Karen, 7, from Artsakh have each received a FAR CASP stipend for the past five years.
Their father, Vachik, was killed during the Four-Day War of 2016. “It was very hard for me, but my children helped me to recover,” said their mother, Ida, 35. CASP, which provides cash support to orphans and the children of single mothers, is a project of the Women's Guild Central Council of the Armenian Diocese Eastern, which is sponsored by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan. Early in 2020, the family received a government-sponsored, three-room apartment in Martakert, Artsakh in honor of their fallen father. Ida has saved all four children’s CASP stipends for the past four years to buy new kitchen furniture. “Previously I had to just keep everything on the floor,” she said. Ida is now saving the money to pay for Ruben’s four-hour daily commute to the College of Stepanakert, which costs about $10 per day. A natural sciences teacher, Ida has had difficulties finding a job in Martakert and she receives a state benefit of $300 per month. As she focuses on raising her children, Ida said that what she wants most is for her children to get an education so that they can be self-sufficient in the future.