In a modest kitchen in Byureghavan, the fragrant aroma of chopped onions wafts through the air, mingling with the scents of carrot, cabbage, and freshly prepared lentil soup. Amidst the clatter of cooking utensils and pots, a symphony of loud conversation fills the room as the cooks, Tatev and Arev, discuss the harmonious combination of ingredients for the day's meal.
Tatev Gasparyan, a 40-year-old woman, joined the FAR Soup Kitchen service staff a few months ago.
Originally hailing from Gavar in the Gegharkunik province, Tatev moved to Artsakh with her parents, cherishing the days spent in one of the houses reconstructed by FAR in the early 2000s. "I still remember the FAR plaque right in front of our house," she said, quietly reminiscing about her peaceful days in Artsakh.
Tatev's path intertwined with her husband Rudik's when she used to work at a kindergarten in Hadrut. Love blossomed between them, leading to the creation of a beautiful home where they joyfully raised their three children - Narek, 9, Gor, 15, and Raisa, 18. However, their tranquil existence was shattered by the devastation of the Artsakh war in 2020, forcing them to embark on a journey as refugees.
Seeking refuge in Gavar, the family faced hardships due to the scarcity of job opportunities. Eventually, they found solace in Byureghavan, where Rudik now works as a driver for the Byureghavan municipality while taking on occasional renovation projects. Yet his income remains unstable, often unable to fully meet the family's needs. “I started working here to supplement our income, but now I genuinely enjoy it. Everyone who tastes my food finds it delicious. We also have our meals here, but my children don't join because they were accustomed to dishes without onions in Artsakh, whereas the dishes at our soup kitchen usually include onions,” Tatev said frankly.
“The soup kitchen has become more than just a workplace; it has become a haven of hope and a healing power. It has allowed me to get accustomed to the beneficiaries of the soup kitchen and try to help them as much as I can because I, too, was given a helping hand when I was in dire need. Now, my only wish is to provide my children with a roof over their heads and a peaceful life."
To help us ensure that underprivileged elderly individuals have dignified lives, consider making a donation to FAR and supporting our Soup Kitchen programs.
The soup kitchen in Byureghavan is one of the two sponsored by the Hacet Family Foundation in loving memory of Yeghsapet Jambazian/Mangoian and Yeghsapet Ambarian/Ouzounian.