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Overcoming the crisis of war and displacement

Zarine Petrosyan, 35, is a social worker and a real-life superhero who does her best to change lives in Masis region of Ararat province. With over 90 displaced and 50 local families under her wing, Zarine provides vital psychosocial support that displaced individuals in particular desperately need.

"Every time I have a tiny investment in someone’s case, be it legal, social, or financial support, I feel worthy and more encouraged to support more people," says mother of three, whose family, like 100,000 others, was forced to leave their home in Martuni, Artsakh, where they had lived for over three decades.

Zarine participated in the Social Workers for Artsakh Project launched by FAR after the 2020 war. Before September 19, 2023, she worked at Martuni’s Psychosocial Center until massive attacks by the Azeris forced Armenians of Artsakh to flee their homes and homeland.

Determined to return home, just as in the 44-day war of 2020, Zarine left with only the key to her house, leaving behind preserved plums, tomato sauces, and pickles, her farm with over 50 pigs, her house and orchard, hopeful for their return. 

“When we left our house, I only took a piece of bread, which was more than enough for a few hours on the road. It lasted three days, and my kids were literally starving. When I saw my oldest one crying nonstop, I gathered myself and added, 'Enough; I have to calm down and take care of my kids."

Through her current role, Zarine aims to build resilience among the displaced Artsakhtsi people, providing counseling on how to access learning opportunities, new skills, training, startup business kits, and psychosocial support.

“The social workers training program we underwent in Artsakh and Armenia helped me overcome the crisis of war and displacement. Otherwise, I would have lost my identity as a human being and never be able to help my kids and my family. Now, I can say I've become stronger, more determined, and empowered. Thanks to FAR, I've also found my dream job here, which not only provides for my family but allows me to transform lives."

Join us in supporting our Artsakhtsi brothers and sisters by making a donation to FAR today. Every contribution makes a difference in their lives!

Stay tuned for more empowering #FARWomenInFocus stories.


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