July 7 2010

Official opening of the second Armenian SOS Children's Village

07/07/2010 - On 4 July the second Armenian SOS Children's Village was officially inaugurated. Located in Idjevan, the capital of the northern Armenian province of Tavush, the village will give home to 90 children in 14 SOS families and assist over 300 through the existing family strengthening and school quality development programmes.

Photo: Katerina Ilievska
Children from the SOS Children's Villages in Kotayk and Idjevan present the house of children's rights with the roof of responsibilities - Photo: Katerina Ilievska

Guests at the ceremony were esteemed Armenian officials, representatives of SOS Children's Villages International as well as Armenian celebrities and loyal supporters. On behalf of the Republic of Armenia and SOS Children's Villages, the village was proclaimed officially opened by the president of SOS Children's Villages International, Mr Helmut Kutin, and the speaker of the Armenian national assembly, Mr Hovik Abrahamyan.

Mr Armen Ghularyan, the governor of the Tavush province, thanked SOS Children's Villages for setting up programmes in the province and handed over the ownership deed for the plot of the village to SOS Children's Villages Armenia. Mr Hans-Johann Schmidt, the Ambassador of Germany to Armenia, wished the village success and thanked everyone involved in its construction and setup.

Both Mr Hovik Abrahamyan, the Chairman of the Armenian national assembly, and Mr Artur Grigoryan, the Armenian Minister of labour and social policy, stressed the importance of the work of SOS Children's Villages in Armenia and expressed their gratitude for the efforts so far and future plans vowing to ensure the support of the government.

Photo: Katerina Ilievska
Mr Abrahamyan, Mr Kutin and Mr Legrand (from left) at the ribbon-cutting ceremonyPhoto: Katerina Ilievska

At the ceremony, Mr Helmut Kutin was proclaimed honorary citizen of Idjevan and was awarded the Medal of Honour of the Armenian national assembly. "...I dare to invite His Excellency the Speaker and all the members of the parliament to hold one session on children's rights here in the village in Idjevan," said Mr Kutin in his speech. Further Mr Kutin expressed his thanks to everyone who made the establishment of the village possible and promised that one day the mayor of Idjevan will be one of the children growing up in the village.

After the official part, the guests enjoyed the performance of many Armenian popular singers among which Marine Petrosyan, Vlad Boghosyan and others. The little villagers had their own part as well through a performance in which they built a house of children's rights.

"Each stone presents one right. This, for example, is the right to a home. This one the right to education. The roof presents our responsibilities for each right, like responsibility to study, to wash our hands, to go to the dentist, to do homework," explained 13-year-old Nora, one of the first children who found a loving home in the SOS Children's Village Idjevan.

Apart from the SOS Children's Village, family strengthening programme and school quality development programme in Idjevan, SOS Children's Villages Armenia also runs an SOS Children's Village in the Kotayk province, an SOS Kindergarten in Kotayk, one SOS Youth Facility in Yerevan, two family strengthening programmes in Yerevan and Gyumri and three school quality development programmes in Kotayk and Yerevan.