FAR Begins Work on USAID Armenia Contract


Fund for Armenian Relief
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Contact: Edina N. Bobelian
Tel: (212) 889-5150; Fax: (212) 889-4849
E-mail: [email protected]

May 20, 2004


Thanks to its USAID Armenia contract, the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR)
began major reconstruction work at the Yerevan Boarding School for the
Visually-Impaired in May 2004. Last May, FAR beat out eight
organizations, including two private companies, to secure a new USAID
contract for work to be completed in Armenia. The two-year, $1.55
million USAID contract required FAR to identify the five neediest
institutions from a list of orphanages, nursing homes and schools for
the handicapped to repair and renovate.

Erected in the 1960s, the four-story building of the Boarding School for
the Visually-Impaired has never been renovated. An initial assessment
tour by the FAR engineering team revealed broken floors, walls and
windows, leaking pipes, and several bathrooms and a kitchen in
disrepair. The entire building, from offices to classrooms to dorm
rooms, needs a complete overhaul. FAR immediately assigned the school a
top priority in its need-based evaluations. USAID approved the project
site, allowing FAR to begin work this month.

Located in the Arabkir District of Yerevan, the Boarding School for the
Visually-Impaired educates and cares for children from families
throughout Armenia. Seventy-five employees help operate the school, the
only one of its kind in Armenia. The 118 legally blind students at the
Boarding School learn Braille and follow the regular public school

The restoration work on the third and fourth floors of the Boarding
School building began this month. FAR’s construction and engineering
teams will intensify their efforts throughout the summer, while the
school is closed. To avoid disrupting classes in the fall, repairs will
be performed on a section by section basis.

In addition to the renovation work of the main building, FAR will
remodel the school yard and install a heating system for the school.
FAR will build a boiler room within the property to ensure a constant
source of heat during Armenia’s cold winters for the children.

FAR is a non-profit organization headquartered in New York, with offices
in Yerevan and Gyumri, Armenia as well as in Stepanakert, Karabagh.
Since the 1988 earthquake, FAR has implemented various relief,
development, social, educational, and cultural projects. To date, FAR
has channeled more than $200 million to Armenia and Karabagh. It remains
the preeminent Diasporan organization operating there.

For more information or to send donations, interested persons should
contact the Fund for Armenian Relief at 630 Second Avenue, New York, NY
10016; telephone (212) 889-5150, fax (212) 889-4849; e-mail
[email protected], website

— 5/20/04

E-mail photos available upon request.

PHOTO CAPTION 1: The four-story building of Armenia’s Boarding School
for the Visually-Impaired is being completely restored by the Fund for
Armenian Relief thanks to its two-year, $1.55 million USAID Armenia

PHOTO CAPTION 2: All the walls, windows and floors will be repaired and
a new heating system will be installed for the 118 legally blind
children who attend Boarding School No. 14, where the students learn
Braille and adhere to a public school curriculum.