[Ayo!]: Yes! We Want to Protect our Children!

The square in front of the Moscow Cinema in Armenia hosted the coolest and most fun fundraising event of the year on July 19. The Ayo! team and volunteers featured their Protective Walls project to build protective walls around the kindergarten and the school of the Aygepar Village in the northeastern region of Armenia.

Whether people were in the square to see the presentations of the Golden Apricot Film Festival, to take in some open air tunes of a local big band, or just to sit by the fountain and enjoy a cool evening, scores of them also included a visit to the Ayo! crew in their leisurely evening. Numerous passers-by stopped to become part of this important initiative for Aygepar and in a mere two hours, these intrepid crowdfunders had collectively tossed in an impressive sum of 137,660AMD.

Aygepar has 648 residents, of which 54 are students that attend the village school, and 25 that attend the kindergarten. The village is in close proximity to the Azeri border – some houses are only 100 meters away from the official borderline. The kindergarten and school buildings are 700 meters away.

Ceasefire violations have become part of the everyday life for the villagers of Aygepar. The sniper fire from the Azeri side is normally aimed at civilian buildings, the school, and kindergarten.

The school has been damaged several times already, with some bullets even penetrating through the windows and posing a fatal risk to the schoolchildren. The playground outside of the school is extremely dangerous because of the regular shooting occurrences.

The Aygepar kindergarten has not been spared either and the teachers are forced to avoid taking the children to their playroom or to the playground.

By initiating the Protective Walls project, Ayo! wants to guarantee a safer environment for the children as soon as possible.

Every bit of help counts and reduces the number of days these children must risk their lives for their basic education.