Mer Hooys Continues to Save Lives in Armenia
LOS ANGELES—The Mer Hooys program has welcomed 8 new girls into the program as residents of the Nakashian Children’s Support Center in Yerevan, Armenia. Mer Hooys staff and current residents welcomed the new group of young girls with hugs, words of encouragement, and gift bags.
Four of the girls are sisters coming from a family of 10 children whose home in Yerevan was recently destroyed by fire; two are twin sisters from Nubarashen; one is from Abovyan city; and another is the youngest sister of twins who are already residing at Mer Hooys.
“As Mer Hooys begins its 5th year of operation, the program continues to achieve outstanding success in saving young women in Armenia from the risk of domestic violence, prostitution and human trafficking – and guiding them into lives of fulfillment and self- sufficiency,” said Judge Adrienne Krikorian, Mer Hooys President.
Mer Hooys will have 17 young girls ages 7-16 in residence by mid-October; an additional five girls ages 17 and older are in the Transitional Living Program. They reside in the Nakashian Children’s Support Center’s new on-site graduate apartment where they are preparing to either return to their families where available, or live independently. Three of these older girls are now attending universities in Armenia.
Of the 15 original girls who came to Mer Hooys from state institutions, boarding homes and seriously disadvantaged families in 2012, 12 have now graduated from high school. All are living in safe environments and pursuing vocations in line with their career goals, or university educations in a wide range of fields, including medicine, social work, pedagogy, business management, culinary arts, architecture, and design.
All of the new younger girls visit regularly with their living parent or parents, under supervision of Mer Hooys professional staff. Family reunification is one of the key goals of the Mer Hooys mission, where possible.
All of the younger girls started the new school year on September 1, which is Knowledge Day in Armenia. The Mer Hooys girls, accompanied by program mentors, arrived at school with new dresses, new haircuts and big smiles on their faces, excited to begin school. The older girls participating in the Mer Hooys Transitional Living Program, and one of the graduates, helped prepare backpacks and new uniforms for the little ones and gave them new hair styles for their first day at school.
The Mer Hooys Board and professional staff are confident that all the children will have an academic year full of success and achievements! Knowledge is the most powerful tool for every individual and for the Mer Hooys program it is one of the most important components.
Mer Hooys Saves Lives
Mer Hooys continues to achieve its mission of empowering young girls in Armenia ages 8 ½ to 22 from seriously disadvantaged backgrounds, by providing them with a safe home, comprehensive educational programs, tutoring, psychological counseling, life skills and job training, and, where possible, family counseling and reunification strategies.
“Our graduates and our girls in residence have HOPE for their futures, and they know that, regardless of whether or not they have a suitable living parent, they have a Mer Hooys family that will ALWAYS be there for them,” said Judge Krikorian.
Mer Hooys continues to enjoy high regard in Armenia, and is a unique model for providing needed services to unwanted or underprivileged youth, teens and their families. The non-profit program operates efficiently and transparently, with many partners in the U.S. and Armenia. The United States-based board of directors spends less than 10 percent of its total annual income on administrative costs. A certified public accountant in the United States reviews the program’s financial records and prepares annual tax returns and reports. A public accountant in Armenia also provides regular comprehensive financial reports of program expenses to the Board.
“Mer Hooys saves and transforms the lives of our girls, helping them to become self- assured young women with promising futures,” said Judge Krikorian. “Community support enables Mer Hooys to continue its vital work saving the lives of vulnerable girls in Armenia and giving them the chance for successful, safe, and happy futures.”
Help Mer Hooys make a difference – consider becoming an annual sponsor of $5,000 or more, or making a generous donation. Please make your donation payable to House of Hope – Mer Hooys, Inc., and mail it to P.O. Box 8507, Calabasas, CA 91372-8507. You may also donate with a credit card or PayPal on our website at www.mer-hooys.org. All donations will be acknowledged and are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Visit our website for regular updates and to enjoy our Facebook feed.