This continues the September series Support & Participate, which is about the importance of philanthropy and why everyone can contribute to making a difference in Armenia—no matter how small. FAR continues to tell the story of one of our most loyal and transformative donors, The Mardigian Family Foundation, and the couple behind it, Janet and Ed Mardigian of Detroit, MI.
After becoming loyal and long-term supporters of several FAR projects, including the FAR Children’s Center and the Octet Music School, Janet and Ed Mardigian of The Mardigian Family Foundation, were ready to take their involvement to a new level. They ended up backing FAR’s largest and most multi-faceted project to date, the Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program (BCPP). After traveling to Armenia’s impoverished Tavush Province they saw the needs firsthand. Things like schools in desperate need of renovations just so children could avoid using outhouses in the dead of winter, or families struggling to make a living, convinced them of the urgency and their agency to help make a change. So they signed on to help. “The results were fabulous,” Janet said of BCPP. BCPP, which tries to address the systemic poverty in the Berd Region of Tavush Province through simultaneous projects in education, health, economic development and child protection, is now entering its eighth year. With their trust in FAR’s transparency and professionalism held steadfast, the Maridigans didn’t hesitate to generously support the emergency relief response when war broke out in Artsakh. Through their more than $250,000 donation they became the biggest contributors to FAR’s Emergency Relief Response, as well as one of the biggest supporters of Ayo!’s #WeAreArtsakh campaign. Their support enabled FAR to help hundreds of people in need from Artsakh, those who have been in need of shelter, food, medical supplies, and other types of assistance as they resettle in Armenia, either permanently or temporarily. “We’re blessed that we’ve been able to help,” said Janet. “We do the easy part. Everybody in FAR does all the hard work.”