MIASNIKIAN, Armenia—The long neglected and decaying school which lacks electricity, indoor plumbing and window glass in the village of Miasnikian will soon be replaced by a modern, high quality educational facility where more than 600 students will be able to attend classes in a safe and nurturing environment. Once completed, the Miasnikian School will be the 16th Building Renovation Project by the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) in Rural Armenia since 2004. The project is proceeding on schedule and phase 1 is estimated to be completed in late 2010.
Miasnikian is one of ten communities in COAF’s Comprehensive Rural Development Program Model Cluster launched in early 2006 in the Armavir District of Armenia. COAF Founder and Chairman, Dr. Garo H. Armen, affirmed the Fund’s commitment to education in rural Armenia: “Providing a dignified environment for the new generation is a central element of our program. In the course of the past six years of operations, COAF has rebuilt and revitalized decaying rural schools. I am thrilled that we were able to reach the children of Miasnikian.” COAF Country Director, Serob Khachatryan, who also leads COAF’s program in education, added, “COAF’s efforts in education are not limited to refurbishing the physical facilities. Within those walls students and teachers have access to up-to-date educational tools and technologies, as well as enrichment programs that promote intellectual growth and excitement in the learning process. Beyond that, COAF renovated schools operate year-round and provide summer recreational and educational programs.”
Kanaka OJSC Construction Company is in charge of the capital renovation of the school building. Once completed, 630 school children will benefit from a learning environment equipped with safe and bright classrooms, indoor restrooms with running water and a central heating system. In 2010, in the course of Phase 1 of the project, two major blocks of the school building covering an area of 1,728 sq. m. will be fully reconstructed, a new boiler-house added, and electric, water and sanitation systems installed. The second phase is planned for when funding becomes available and will include the capital renovation of three other educational blocks, a gymnasium and a performance hall.
When Miasnikian Mayor Antranig Petrossyan, announced the launch of the school reconstruction project to the community in April 2010, he thanked COAF for giving the children of Miasnikian the opportunity to set higher goals for their future. He also highlighted the importance of COAF’s participatory approach in various development efforts and added that improved access to health care and education had been among the top priorities defined by the village community at the first town hall meeting that the COAF held back in February 2006.
According to the agreement signed by COAF, Kanaka OJSC and the town of Miasnikian, the latter will contribute 8,000,000 drams to Phase 1 of the project, or approximately 3.3% of the Phase 1 reconstruction budget.
In Miasnikian, as elsewhere in the COAF-supported villages in the Armavir Province of Armenia, reconstruction efforts constitute part of COAF’s holistic approach to the revitalization of village communities. Through this approach, programs in health care, social services, psychological counseling and economic development come together to offer rural communities the capacity for sustained growth, economic vitality and the hope of a better future for the new generation.
About Kanaka OJSC
Kanaka OJSC is a construction company that is based in Vanadzor and is managed by Hayk Hovivyan. The company has more than 15 years of experience in construction and reconstruction projects throughout Armenia. With its skillful and experienced staff, the company is equipped with up-to-date machinery and equipment to carry out its work effectively. Additionally, Kanaka OJSC is known in Armenia and the region for their outstanding work ethic and for sparing no effort in attaining high standards in product quality and workmanship.
The Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2003, that aims to reduce poverty through the revitalization of rural Armenia and realization of projects that are instrumental for the development of rural children and youth. With the introduction of its novel approach to clustering, COAF implements the “Model Cluster” Comprehensive Rural Development Program working in ten villages in the Baghramian Region of Armavir District. The key components of COAF’s Model Cluster comprise community development including Health, Social and Education Programs, as well as Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Economic Development. For the past six years, more than 22,000 rural residents and over 5,000 children from Argina, Arteni, Baghramian, Dalarik, Hushakert, Lernagog, Karakert, Miasnikian, Shenik and Yervandashat communities have benefited from COAF’s continuous development efforts and improved schools, kindergartens, health clinics, sport complexes, community and psycho-social centers, capacity building trainings and workshops and multi-faceted business development opportunities.