The COAF story of Aragatsavan village
by Nane Vardanyan
The road to Aragatsavan village school is not an ordinary one. While the majority of roads in Armenia are paved with asphalt, this one is a stone road reconstructed by COAF and the local authorities in 2011. “Stone roads require less maintenance, are more durable, work better for rural irrigation systems, and are more affordable,” explains Artur Ter-Simonyan, the Infrastructure Projects Coordinator at COAF.
We are in one of the most lively COAF villages — Aragatsavan, previously known as Alagyaz, of the Aragatsotn region. Visit here, and the colors that will remain in your memory are the juicy shades of fruits that grow here: watermelons, apricots, apples, and peaches to every taste!
More than 5000 beneficiaries live here and better their village year by year. “Our village has been seeing a lot of improvement: the youth is very enthusiastic and engaged in community activities, all roads are being reconstructed, and my age-mates see their future here. We all envision plans to create a better social life here,” confidently says Mariam Hovhannisyan, our recent English Access Alumna and a freshman-to-be at Armenian State University of Economics.
COAF programs build bridges between communities and their people. Despite being close to each other, villagers were often not connected with their nearby communities. “Thanks to the Access program, I got acquainted with the youth from other villages. Moreover, we implemented a waste management program together with the kids of Karakert and Arteni villages,” says Mariam, one of the teenagers who changed her community’s environment for a much cleaner and nicer one.
Our after-school educational programs, including Engineering, Aflatoun (social-financial education program), and Judo, allow children to obtain 21-st century knowledge and skills. “One of the most important things I learned during the Aflatoun program is that environmental protection should be central to any business or initiative. We used our local factory example to analyze how using filters will protect the atmosphere from industrial dust,’ explains Tatev Makoyan, a COAF Aflatoun student from Aragatsavan.
In addition to the renovated Creativity Lab, cafeteria, brushodrome (tooth-brushing station adjacent to school cafeterias), and auditorium, we installed solar panels and renovated the doors of the School #2 in Aragatsavan in 2019. Our beneficiaries will now have warmer winters and a cleaner environment to study.
Aragatsavan is one of the 64 village communities of Armenia where our educational, health, social and economic programs improve the quality of life and create broader possibilities for our beneficiaries. COAF has touched the lives of thousands in 16 years of working on the ground, but there is much more to do to bring our work to all 900 villages across the country.