Tufenkians Sponsor School in Stepanakert

STEPANAKERT (Noyan Tapan)–The Office of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh in the United States announced on Tuesday that Californians Ralph and Savey Tufenkian–together with the Armenian Educational Foundation–will sponsor a $20,000 state-of-the-art Computer Science Class Project in Stepanakert–the capital of Nagorno Karabakh.

The Computer Science Class Project includes 694 students in grades one though ten divided into 33 groups. The academic curriculum will include classes on logic–hardware structure–operational programming–MS-DOS–MS Windows–MS Office applications and the Internet. The sponsors contributed funds to acquire the necessary equipment–and the school is now responsible for providing logistics and hiring teachers.

"We are delighted by the news of this project. We need to do everything possible to provide Artsakh’s youth with a modern education so that Artsakh can keep up with world progress and rely on its own intellectual potential. Ralph and Savey Tufenkian are visionaries–who know that the future is built today. We will do our best to make the project a success," said the school’s principal Karen Andrian.

"We deeply appreciate and enthusiastically welcome the Tufenkian family’s outstanding new initiative," said Vardan Barseghian–Karabakh’s representative in the United States. "The Karabakh Office was instrumental in helping shape and advance the project so we are particularly pleased that it will be launched in the near future."

While visiting Karabakh last autumn to take part in the ceremonial opening of the North-South "Backbone" Highway–the Tufenkians also visited the Stepanakert Richard Tufenkian School. The couple provided funds for the complete reconstruction and refurbishing of the school in 1999 and 2000. The Ministry of Urban Construction implemented the project and periodically reported to the sponsors as the work progressed. The Tufenkians returned to Karabakh in August 2000 to inaugurate the new school.

Acknowledging the couple’s continued patriotic support–last September–Karabakh’s President Arkady Ghoukassian awarded the Vachagan Barepasht (Vachagan the Righteous) medal to Savey Tufenkian. One of Karabakh’s highest honors–the medal is conferred for achievemen’s in culture–literature–humanities–art–health protection and charitable activity that benefit the country. "We encourage all our American friends to join Artsakh in its quest for stable peace–security and economic prosperity. Funding of humanitarian and development projects is critical to Artsakh’s success," underscored Karabakh Representative Barseghian.

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