This Was Their Last Cold Winter


Until recently, smoke was an issue unique to Choratan Secondary School. The roughly 4,000-square-foot school, which has 100 students and over 30 staff members, was traditionally heated by wood fires.

Rehabilitation of the school’s central heating system was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Semonian Family of Massachusetts. The entire heating system was installed through the joint efforts of FAR, the Paros Foundation, and the Tavush Province Regional Administration.

Previously, throughout most of the winter, the wind would cause smoke to fill the classrooms, cutting down lesson times, said school Principal Vazgen Zargaryan. “We are very grateful to FAR. Now, the school, its students, and the entire community of Choratan can concentrate on education in a warm environment,” he said.

As part of its Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program (BCPP), and with more help from the Semonian Family, FAR has also supported the Choratan school with renovations to the school’s cafeteria, its technology classroom, and its bomb shelter. BCPP helps to break the endemic cycle of poverty in the Berd Region of Tavush Province through multi-sector programming spanning education, development, health, and child protection.