LOS ANGELES–Children of Armenia Fund’s Annual Holiday Gala historically held in New York City will be replaced this year with a virtual and televised benefit titled “Moving Mountains” on December 5, at 5 p.m. PST / 8 p.m. EST.
Armenians worldwide can watch the event online and donate to COAF to immediately address the crisis in Armenia. Funds raised this year will focus on several projects to be carried out over the next 2 years, including accommodating 2,500 refugees from Artsakh with permanent housing in COAF-supported villages in Armenia, the continuation of COAF education, health, social and economic programs in over 60 villages, and the implementation of regional and village infrastructure upgrades.
This year’s “Moving Mountains’ fundraiser will be hosted by Araksya Karapetyan of Good Day L.A. on FOX 11 Los Angeles, who also hosted the Annual COAF Holiday Gala last December in New York City, as well as the COAF Summer Soiree this past August. Accompanying Araksya will be COAF Senior Director of Development Haig Boyadjian and world-famous auctioneer Gabriel Butu. Musical performances this year include pop superstar Iveta Mukuchyan and violinist Ara Malikian. Special appearances will also feature Andrea Martin, Serj Tankian, Sean Hayes, Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy, Tina Fey, Mark Geragos, David Alpay, Martin Short and Victor Garber.
COAF has been at the forefront of rural development in Armenia and is committed to implementing critical projects aimed at addressing the devastating consequences of the recent conflict in Artsakh. A major refugee/human crisis has unfolded in Armenia with the influx of 90,000 refugees from Artsakh who have fled to Armenia. The organization will create conditions for those who will not return to Artsakh soon and ensure they are integrated into their newfound communities. Preliminary estimates suggest half of these refugees will at some point return to Artsakh. This means a significant number of refugee families must be provided with housing, education, healthcare, social services, and employment opportunities. COAF is ideally positioned to accommodate these needs due to its strong presence and infrastructure in rural communities. Confidence must be built with immediate and innovative actions, so that stability and hope for the future is not lost.
Immediately following the attack on Artsakh, COAF addressed the vital needs of 500 refugees who arrived in their beneficiary villages by providing them with accommodations and humanitarian assistance. COAF plans on creating conditions in its supported villages, such as securing temporary housing and integrating displaced people from Artsakh into its programs and services, for an additional 2,000 additional refugees by yearend. After providing temporary housing, COAF will provide permanent housing to those who will not return to Artsakh and ensure they have access to education, healthcare, social and economic programs.
The ’Moving Mountains’ fundraiser on Saturday, December 5 will be shown virtually and simultaneously televised for the first time on USArmenia TV and ARTN satellite television channels. The virtual/televised fundraiser will feature musical performances by talented youth from Armenia, important footage of COAF’s work on the ground in rural Armenia, as well as a moving tribute to the fallen heroes from our villages who lost their lives during the 44-day war in Artsakh.
The “Children of Armenia” Charitable Fund (COAF) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that employs community-led approaches aimed at improving the quality of life in rural Armenia, with a particular focus on children and youth. COAF’s target development areas are education, healthcare, social and economic development. COAF launched its programs in 2004, starting in one village and expanding to 64 villages in Armavir, Aragatsotn, Lori, Gegharkunik, Shirak, and Tavush regions, impacting more than 107,000 beneficiaries.
Since 2015, COAF has developed and started implementing a new vision – SMART Initiative. COAF SMART is designed to advance a generation across the rural world through education that will benefit individuals, societies, and the environment. COAF SMART will become an exemplary model of development and will be replicated in other regions and communities throughout Armenia. The first COAF SMART Center was inaugurated on May 27, 2018, near the village of Debet, Lori Region.