New home, new beginning: housing for the people of Artsakh

by Nane Vardanyan

Irreversible human loss, thousands of displaced people hardly with any belongings, and enduring uncertainty․․․ The wounds of the recent war Azerbaijan launched against Artsakh last year are still fresh and will long be.

Hundreds of families with their lives cruelly interrupted by the war have resided in our beneficiary rural communities since the beginning of the war. With our global community of supporters, we have assumed the duty of standing with these people in every possible way.

From the provision of basic necessities like primary food, hygiene, and household supplies and clothes to psychological assistance and health services, COAF has been there together with our partners and donors worldwide.

Along with our exceptional humanitarian assistance to affected families since day one, we came up with initiatives to secure long-term solutions for the Artsakhtsi people to help overcome the post-war crisis.

We started with the most arduous problem and critical need: housing. As promised during our Moving Mountains annual fundraising event (2020), we are securing homes in COAF-supported villages for those families who’ve lost their homes and have nowhere else to go to. As always, we share with you stories and updates on how your donations are helping our compatriots through challenging times.

We provide accommodation for displaced people from Artsakh through three pilot ways:

  • buying rural houses and renovating them,
  • purchasing modular homes from the international market and constructing them in our beneficiary villages,
  • building modular homes through local partners.

“Purchasing abandoned rural houses, being nohow used by their landlords, fosters economic activity in the community. Moreover, house owners get the chance to fulfill an old dream they had but couldn’t realize due to the lack of financial resources. Selling their secondary properties is often a long-awaited goal,” explains COAF Board Member and Consultant Ovsanna Yeghoyan.

A house in Dsegh village to be provided to a displaced family from Artsakh after the makeover.

We have recently purchased two houses in Dsegh and Debet villages of the Lori region. It’s been a week since we have been renovating them through the local workforce. The apartments will be ready for occupation and will become homes for three families by the end of this spring.

A house in Debet village to be provided to a displaced family from Artsakh after the makeover.
A house in Debet village to be provided to a displaced family from Artsakh after the makeover.

Along with acquiring houses, our local partners work on the ground leveling of areas that will serve as a foundation of modular homes. “Modular construction is underdeveloped in Armenia. In other words, there are no resources and relevant practice in the field. Still, modular construction is asserted to be a cost-effective and efficient method of construction. Despite the challenges, we’re trying to acquire materials with the highest possible quality among the available options,” mentions Yeghoyan.

By April to late May, over a dozen families from Artsakh will have houses located close to existing infrastructures. We are hopeful that having their most basic needs satisfied, the families can prioritize finding a job and adapt to their new residency better.

A lot of efforts are being made to ensure speed and efficiency throughout the project, and we are grateful to be able to carry your support through all stages of this noble mission.

As always, 100% of your donations secure homes for displaced children and their families from Artsakh. Thank you for being generous today.

Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) is a non-profit organization that employs community-led approaches aimed at improving the quality of life in rural Armenia.

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