Izmirlian Foundation, Teach for Armenia and Gradarak team up to support the school in Choratan

Izmirlian Foundation has announced it will donate USD 10,000 to Teach For Armenia educational foundation and USD 15,000 Gradarak educational and cultural NGO. The parties have signed a trilateral agreement on May 8.

  • May 10, 2019
  • Mediamax
  • 6 photo(s)

Around the table

 “The amount of the donations has been confirmed, so we only need to transfer it and the rest is just about technicalities,” Izmirlian Foundation Country Director for Armenia Lusine Galajyan says, placing her hand on the file with the signed agreements.

“Should we contact you or somebody else in the process? I’m asking because the format is trilateral, quite unusual for us,” asks Teach For Armenia (TFA) founder Larisa Hovhannisian. 

“Yes, with me. But let’s go over all the stages now,” responds Lusine.

Gradarak is to oversee the first stage starting from June and a TFA fellow will take over in September, when the second stage begins.

 In the middle of the discussion, Choratan school deputy principal Hasmik Kalantaryan enters the room.

 “The construction works will begin in the library on July 1,” Hasmik tells Lusine.

 “Do you want to hear something curious? Our first fellow, Margarita, worked in Choratan. After she completed her tenure, we called our conference room “Choratan” as a joke,” Larisa says, laughing.

 Lydia and Astghik 

 Izmirlian Foundation wanted to carry out the program in the school that needed assistance the most. They traveled to different villages before finally stopping at Choratan in Tavush marz.

 According to the newly signed agreement, the teacher assigned to Choratan will be funded for two years. It is extremely important for the school to have an English teacher.

 “We have two fellows from TFA at the moment. We had an English teacher before and when she retired, we faced hard facts. We searched for a teacher in neighboring villages but didn’t find anyone in the end,” explains Hasmik Kalantaryan.

“How would you estimate the level of English in the school?”, Lusine asks.

“The children started speaking English as well as Russian after Lydia and Astghik (the TFA fellows – Mediamax) arrived. They also take the kids to excursions, organize events, and work with children from adjacent communities. It will be difficult for our students to say good-bye,” adds the Choratan school deputy principal.

Library of the future

Larisa Hovhannisian is certain that good education is crucial for the children living in border villages of Armenia.

“We don’t want the parents to make the hard choice of moving to town because it is the only way to solve the problem of education for their children,” says Larisa.

The Choratan school library serving 105 students is a small, plain room with just a few books at the moment. It has no books included in the curriculum at all. The revival and re-equipment of the library begins in July.

Co-founders of Gradarak Arusik Zeynalyan and Hayk Zalibekyan visited the school two months ago.

“Is there much work to do?”

“The same amount as in our previous projects. The process of creating a school library is the same anywhere: prepare the design, draft the budget… The most difficult part is actually when you need to equip the library with new books, organize workshops, engage the children,” explains Hayk.

 “We really want to build a network of the libraries we created, so that children from different communities can connect with each other. It is very important for us,” concludes Arusik Zeynalyan.