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Supporting Artsakhtsi preschoolers on the path to recovery

Exploring the festive Christmas table, 4-year-old Denis eagerly reaches for the sweets, securing a handful of small chocolate candies. His eyes light up with joy, and his cheeks, adorned with chocolate smudges, express genuine delight as he exclaims, "It's delicious!”

For over eight months, Denis missed out on the simple joys of sweets and candies in Martakert region of Artsakh due to the blockade. When reminiscing about last year's Christmas, his memories center around having zhengyalov hats and homegrown potatoes from their own land.

Initially reluctant to attend, Denis now happily goes to the Byurakan kindergarten in the Aragatsotn province, where FAR has been making a positive impact on the nutritional well-being of preschool children since 2022 by providing free and balanced meals, along with awareness programs focused on children's health and nutrition for the local community.

Hasmik Nikoghosyan, the kindergarten principal, shares that when Artsakhtsi kids initially joined the kindergarten, many were diagnosed with acute malnutrition and faced psychological challenges. "We had children arriving, exhausted, and some would even fall asleep sitting, hugging a toy in their hands," she reflects, adding that dedicated time and efforts were invested to support their recovery.

Currently, the kindergarten accommodates 107 children from Byurakan and neighboring communities, including 7 displaced kids from Artsakh, like Denis.

“Recognizing the profound impact of nutrition on the physical and cognitive growth of children aged 2-5, it is evident that, beyond the visible signs of malnutrition, many displaced children in this age group may also experience cognitive development challenges. Swiftly transitioning them to a nurturing environment and ensuring they receive balanced nutrition is crucial for us, otherwise it may lead to irreversible physical and cognitive deficits,” says FAR Health Programs Director Hambardzum Simonyan adding that FAR’s nutrition program not only focuses on decreasing child malnutrition in communities but also raises public health awareness among parents. 

The Byurakan Kindergarten's nutritional well-being project for preschool children is generously funded through the support of the John Mirak Foundation and the Harold and Josephine Gulamerian Foundation.

To support Artsakhtsi preschoolers on their path to recovery, please consider donating to FAR today.


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