During the 2020 Artsakh War, 30-year-old Armine Arzangulyan fled her home with nothing but the clothes on her back and some personal documents in a hastily packed bag. Today, she rents an apartment in Stepanakert where she lives with her two children, husband, grandmother, and father-in-law, a wounded veteran of the first Artsakh War. He participated in the 1994 battles to liberate Shushi, causing him to lose his right arm in an explosion.
A linguist by training, Armine never imagined she would one day earn a second degree in social work and that her newly chosen professional field would be so incredibly important for Artsakh.
In 2021, she applied to our Social Workers for Artsakh project, an inclusive psychosocial protection program developed and launched by the FAR Children’s Center in collaboration with Armenia’s Association of Social Workers. Armine became one of the first 90 participants selected for the program. (300 had applied.)
In June 2021, she was offered a full-time position with Artsakh’s Ministry of Social Affairs.
“Before the war, I would have never thought that one day I would become a social worker. But when I came back to Stepanakert after the war, I began to feel this yearning in my soul to do something beyond distributing food to the displaced, and to become a part of a systematized social protection unit, which was previously nonexistent in Artsakh,” she said.
Now, Armine works with 70 displaced families, connecting them to access to healthcare, social services, and family reunification, while simultaneously earning her master’s degree in social work.
“It seems that I have found my dream job,” she said.
Social Workers for Artsakh, which was initiated and is implemented through the FAR Children's Center, aims to employ a network of skilled social workers to defend and promote the rights of Artsakh’s people. Support FAR’s work to strengthen Artsakh today.