Tufenkian Foundation Announces New Sponsorship in Karabagh Resettlement Program

Dr. Alber Karamanoukian joins effort to resettle Karabagh’s border regions

STEPANAKERT–The Tufenkian Foundation this week announced a generous gift by Dr. Alber Karamanoukian toward its ongoing efforts to promote Mountainous Karabagh’s resettlement. Dr. Karamanoukian’s gift of $20,000 will underwrite the construction of one house and associated facilities in Arajamough–a new village the Foundation is building in Karabagh’s border regions.

Begun in 2004–Arajamough currently houses 25 resettlers–consisting of 6 families–most of them refugees from Azerbaijan. The village will welcome another 6 families this fall. The Tufenkian Foundation is committed to building and resettling at least 6 houses per year until the Arajamough project is completed.

"We are grateful to Dr. Karamanoukian for his generous support of this project," stated Antranig Kasbarian–a Program Director with the Foundation. "Indeed–his support for resettlement extends beyond this project and toward the larger vision of fortifying Artsakh–particularly its vulnerable border regions–as a crucial component of our national security."

In turn–Dr. Karamanoukian praised the Foundation for its efforts. "Resettling Karabagh is of vital importance–particularly when many people still lack decent housing–facilities–and especially jobs. I commend the Foundation’s commitment to raising the bar in each of these fields–and urge others to join the effort to consolidate our victories on the ground."

The Arajamough project features newly built houses with modern amenities. Alongside these–the Tufenkian Foundation is providing water–power lines–gravel roads–as well as administrative support in bolstering the village. Future plans include animal husbandry and land cultivation–in order to provide sustainable livelihoods and to spur economic growth in surrounding areas.

"Our view of resettlement is an integrated one–and moves beyond the usual humanitarian-subsistence approaches," stated Kasbarian. "The Karabagh war created many thousands of refugees and homeless persons; some of these have left the area entirely–while many others continue to eke out an existence in ruined areas amidst primitive conditions. Under such circumstances–our very existence on these lands remains tenuous. If we are to attract Armenia’s back and solidify our presence–then clearly having a roof over one’s head is not enough. Rather–people must gain hope that there is a future living on these lands–which is why modern facilities–infrastructure–and the promise of economic activity are essential as well."

Dr. Karamanoukian is a prominent physician and businessman based in Glendale–California. He has a long record of philanthropy toward Armenian causes.

The Tufenkian Foundation was established in 1999 by New York-based entrepreneur James Tufenkian. The Foundation currently pursues a wide array of projects in Armenia and in Karabagh–and also sponsors the "Armenian Forests" NGO–which addresses environmental issues. To learn more about the Foundation’s efforts–please see the Foundation’s website at www.tufenkianfoundation.org–or contact Antranig Kasbarian at akasbarian@tufenkiancarpets.com.

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