FAR’s soup kitchen in Berd has brought a sense of connectedness and community to Gayane, 52, and her daughter Nora, 28. Having lost Gayane's house during the 44-day Artsakh War after their village was overtaken by the Azeris, they initially found shelter over the border, first in Ararat Province, then later in Tavush Province. Since May, Gayane and Nora have been sharing a room in a guesthouse where Gayane now works as a cleaner.
Despite numerous challenges, Gayane and Nora feel more at ease in Berd than in any other place they’ve stayed since the end of the war. This is very much due to the reception they’ve received from the soup kitchen staff.
“The soup kitchen staff treat us well. They are very caring and supportive. We really enjoy these homemade dishes, particularly the buckwheat with matsun [Greek yogurt],” noted Gayane. Often the two don’t have enough money to afford the basics at home, like potatoes and sour cream.
“It was hard to survive in Noyemberyan. Here I can go to the forest and pick cornelian cherries, blackberries, and nuts and sell them in the market. This is how I did the preservation of fruits and vegetables for this winter,” Gayane said.
The biggest challenge for Gayane and Nora is to secure a stable roof over their heads in Berd. “This is the first time we have been to Berd and I like it. It looks like Artsakh and I would like to stay here,” said Gayane.