AGBU SCDC Raises $38K for Karabakh Repopulation Centennial Project

55 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022-1112
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Monday, April 5, 2004

The AGBU Southern California District Committee (SCDC), led by its
Chairman, Dr. Simon Simonian, organized many events and activities
during the past three years to serve the local Armenian community. As
a result of these many efforts, the Committee raised funds to support
both local and global AGBU programs. Before recently handing over the
reigns to the new Chairperson and Committee, Dr. Simonian took on one
more activity that raised a total of $38,000, all of which will be
allocated to the construction of a new, 120-student school in the
Norashen region of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. This endeavor is
part of AGBU’s Karabakh Repopulation Centennial Project.

AGBU established this project in recognition of the need to repopulate
the Armenian villages in Karabakh and to provide humanitarian and
agricultural relief to the Armenians already living there. Looking
back to one of the earliest goals of the organization, namely reaching
out to the rural Armenian populations in Ottoman provinces, the
current project mirrors the very endeavor that took place almost a
century ago. Today, many worldwide Chapters of the organization have
enthusiastically adopted the Karabakh Repopulation program by taking
on the construction of a school, community center or home.

The war between Armenian and Azeri forces that took place between 1991
and 1994 destroyed many villages and hundreds of homes, significantly
diminishing the Armenian population in the Karabakh region. Through
the efforts of AGBU’s District Committee of France, a pilot program
was initiated in the Norashen region of Karabakh to provide
much-needed assistance to disadvantaged children, farmers and
villages. To date, AGBU France has restored the utility infrastructure
of the electricity and water supply, as well as the sewage system. In
addition to building 20 residential homes and a school, the District
Committee has also extended agricultural assistance to villagers,
primarily through enhanced methods of generating dairy products and
maintaining livestock.

Due to the positive effects and outcomes of this pilot project, AGBU
added several other villages to a list of those to receive aid,
including Aygestan, Akn and Tumasar in the Hadrut region, with plans
to expand into the Martakert region, as well. These efforts in the
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic are an extension of the major programs
maintained by AGBU in Armenia, including the six Soup Kitchens, the
three Children’s Centers, medical centers and the American University
of Armenia.

SCDC is just one of the AGBU Districts/Chapters that has pledged
assistance to AGBU’s Karabakh Repopulation Centennial Project. For
more information on AGBU SCDC please visit their website: