Շոկոլադի Բանկ 2017 Լոռի

Աշխարհի գրեթե բոլոր երկրներում դեկտեմբեր ամիսը վերածվում է տոնի` Սուրբ Ծննդյան և Ամանորի սպասումով, հրաշքների հավատով ու սիրով լի: Մեր երկրում ևս դեկտեմբեր ամիսը շատ բուռն ու տոնական է, սակայն կան ընտանիքներ ում երեխաները դադարել են հավատալ ամանորյա հրաշքներին: 2014 թվականի դեկտեմբեր ամսից որոշեցինք փոխել դեկտեմբերները, տալ նոր գույն այս ամսին, որ ոչ միայն մենք հավատանք հրաշքներին,...

Դպրոցի Ճամփան

Տավուշի մարզի, Բերդ տարածաշրջանի 16 գյուղերի և Բերդ քաղաքի 2017 թվականի բոլոր 333 առաջին դասարանցիներն ունեցան միանման, ամուր, որակյալ, գունեղ ուսապարկեր՝ լի որակյալ գրենական պիտույքներով: Շուրջ 2 ամիս Այո հարթակի ողջ թիմը ծրագրի իրականացման համար Հայաստանում և Միացյալ Նահանգներում անցկացրեց դրամահավաքներ: Միյն Հայաստանում շուրջ 20 կամավոր աշխատեց ծրագրի...

New Braille Printers? Check!

The Ayo! team delivered two brand new Braille printers to Special School No. 14 in Yerevan. With a lot of enthusiasm, energy and balloons we stepped out of the car upon arrival only to be greeted by the school’s director. He led us to the room where we could install the printers so they would be ready to use. It was special to see how happy the director was, thanking us profusely for the printers and explaining once again the importance. Braille books are essential tools for blind children. They are their gateway to literacy and their strongest tools for learning. These facts make us especially happy and proud –proud that we could give them these printers and proud that our hard work and the support from our Ayo! friends led to this opportunity. After decorating the room...

Հեքիաթներ

Յուրաքանչյուր մարդ՝ ծնված օրվանից մինչև ծերություն, շրջապատված է հեքիաթներով ու միֆերով: Դեռևս հնագույն ժամանակներից հեքիաթների միջոցով են սերնդեսերունդ փոխանցվել մարդկության իմաստությունն ու գիտելիքները՝ այդպես ավելի հեշտ է հիշվում ամեն ինչ: Այդ իսկ պատճառով զարմանալի չէ, որ հենց հոգեբանությունն է ուսումնասիրում հեքիաթի ազդեցությունը մարդու հոգեկան...

Այո!-ի «լուսանկարչական» նվերը

Մի օր Այո! թիմով որոշեցինք նվեր անել մեր բոլոր հետևողներին, ինչպես նաև նրանց, ովքեր դեռ ծանոթ չեն մեզ, բայց կարող են դառնալ մեր մեծ թիմի անդամ։ Համագործակցելով «Մարաշլեան» ֆոտո ատելիեի հետ՝ կազմակերպեցինք հանրային լուսանկարվելու միջոցառում, որը տևեց 7 օր։ Ապրիլ ամիսն էր, մենք որոշեցինք լուսանկարների մեջ ունենալ ազգային տարրեր՝ հայկական տարազի տեսքով, որպես մեր բազմադարյա մշակույթի...

Խարբերդի մանկատան հրաշքը

Տարին սկսում ենք մի նոր հիասքանչ ու շատ կարևոր ծրագրով : Իսկ Դուք գիտե՞ք, որ ձիերն են համարվում մարդկանց ամենահավատարիմ կենդանիներից: Ձիերի շնորհիվ մարդ կարող ոչ միայն հանգստանալ ու վայելել ազատությունը, այլև վերականգնել բազում առողջական խնդիրներ, որոնցից են ՝ հենաշարժողական, մկանային խնդիրները, ինչպես նաև հոգեբանական վիճակը: Հայաստանում շատ քչերը տեղեկութուն ունեն այն մասին, թե ինչ է իրենից ներկայացնում ձիերի...

[Ayo!] Happy Children are our Best Investment

FAR’s crowdfunding platform and civic initiative in Armenia Ayo! has jumped on the “Happy” train. On June 1, Ayo! released a video to celebrate Children’s Day that features children from all regions of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh dancing along to the infectiously upbeat song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. In joining the “Happy” movement that has taken over the world, Ayo! aims to show that children can be happy no matter where they live and how they live. It is up to each and every one of us to protect children’s happiness so that they can...

[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...

[Ayo!]: Schoolchildren in Yerevan Join Crowdfunding Effort to Keep Their Friends on the Border Safe

September 8, 2014 10:00 am September 1 in Armenia is traditionally the first day of school and Knowledge Day – a festive day for schoolchildren, their parents, and their teachers. It’s known for traffic jams, new backpacks, and lavish bouquets for teachers. This year, the Leo Tolstoy Public School #128 along with Yerevan Productions held a “September 1st Without Flowers” initiative, where students were encouraged to donate the funds that they would have spent on flowers to Ayo!’s Protective Walls project. And so, with the participation of every single student of the school, $920 was raised to build a wall around the kindergarten and school of the Armenian village of Aygepar that is constantly...

[Young Professionals Trip]: YPT Alumni Reunite in NYC

August 29, 2014 10:05 am Recently, FAR hosted a reunion for the Young Professionals Trip’s alumni in New York City. On May 29th, several alumni gathered on the Diocesan Plaza for a night of great music, delicious food, and engaging conversation. Participants from trips as far back as 1996 shared their experiences – allowing each other to track the progression of the trips. As guests joyfully reminisced to their time in Armenia, they were also introduced to a new way of engaging in positive development in Armenia: FAR’s crowdfunding platform and civic initiative Ayo! raises funds for local solutions to local challenges in Armenia and implements these projects through FAR. The Young Professionals Trip (YPT) serves to bring together the diasporan community to...

[Ayo!]: Sharing Food and Smiles

September 29, 2014 1:15 pm After successfully completing their first fully funded project – purchasing new kitchenware for three of FAR’s soup kitchens – the Ayo! team decided to celebrate with a surprise for beneficiaries. Ayo! Project Director Armen Anmeghikyan, Project Manager Jemma Safaryan and Community Director Helena Melkonyan, along with FAR Soup Kitchen Coordinator Rafik Martirosyan, personally delivered the new kitchenware to the Berd, Yerevan and Gyumri soup kitchens touched by this project. FAR’s Soup Kitchens Program benefits men and women of retirement age as well as low-income families. Every weekday the soup kitchens provide a nutritious meal consisting of soup, a main...

JOIN US TODAY TO BECOME AN AYO! AMBASSADOR

Exciting news! We here at Ayo! are very proud to announce our new Ayo! Ambassador program. It’s been a long time in the making and we are happy to get this underway. Anyone who is interested can be an ambassador for Ayo! It’s a chance to tell the world about us, our work, and why they should care about Ayo! as much as you do. Contact Jemma, Ayo! Project Manager, for more information and we will send you a package that will describe how you can help us. If you want to look for a unique long-term experience this is the right program for you. Together with Birthright Armenia,...

Ayo! Successfully Funds its Protective Wall Campagin

Ayo! last week succeeded in raising all funds for its Protective Walls project. Through the support of so many who helped to donate or contribute to Ayo!’s selfie campaign, the team was able to raise enough to start building. Special thanks goes to FAR Board Chairman Randy Sapah-Gulian who helped to close the final gap. Ayo! will now move ahead on building the four three-meter-high walls around the school in Aygepar. Children will be able to safely use their playground during recess and will no longer live in fear of being struck by cross-border shooting. The future of the people in Aygepar will be brighter and safer. All of us wish to...

Hi everyone!
Meet the new Ayo! Ambassador

I’m very excited to announce that I am Ayo!’s new ambassador. My name is Talin Yakob and I am 21 years old. I have been living in The Netherlands for the past 18 years, ever since my parents fled the danger in Iraq. They were looking for a safe place to go and this safe place turned out to be Holland. My parents picked the right place, indeed. (Thank you, mom and dad.) Life has been good for us there. Yet, even though I seemingly had all the comforts in the world there has always been something missing in my life. I have been searching for this “something” in vain for a long time, trying to figure out what it is. One day I decided that I might find it in Armenia. Maybe I was missing home? I never felt truly at home in The Netherlands, so...

Thanksgiving: a day to say thank you

While the Ayo! team has been very busy working on thank you emails for Thanksgiving, I recently realized that I have never really thought about the meaning of Thanksgiving. As a Dutch girl I have never celebrated Thanksgiving. And as a Dutch girl I never wondered what Thanksgiving really meant. So I did a little bit of research and this is what I found: Thanksgiving is celebrated primarily in the United States and in Canada. It’s a day when families and friends come together and have a nice dinner together. During this dinner they are often eating a turkey and a lot of other delicious things like pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy. Basically this whole day is about reflecting. Back in the day it was about being thankful for the blessings of the harvest...

From the Soup Kitchen with Love

What do we need to do to make someone smile? Do we have to give presents? Do we have to make a joke? Do we have to give money? Or is it enough to share some words with someone? Let me tell you an interesting story about making people smile by only giving someone a smile. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make someone happy. It’s 9 in the morning and my host mom calls me for breakfast. After washing my face I walk to the kitchen. She greets me with a warm smile and serves me a delicious bowl of soup. While eating breakfast, my host mom is asking me questions about last night. Knowing that I will meet Armen in a few minutes, I drink my Armenian coffee and get dressed quickly. We meet and head to the Soup Kitchen. With Ayo!’s...

Ayo! is Growing Up

This week we celebrated Ayo!’s first birthday at Cantaloupe pub and we welcomed all of our Ayo! friends to the party. The best part was that they didn’t just come for the cake—they came for us! (Trust me.) We took this opportunity to celebrate all of the achievements of our first year. Ayo! made it possible for 100 visually impaired kids to get an equal education by providing them with a Braille printer. Have you ever thought about how important it is for these children to have books? Braille books are essential tools for aiding the literacy process of blind children. With the printer the school can now make these books accessible to all of its students. So, with this gift we gave them an opportunity to expand their horizons. These children can now have updated books and they are very thankful for it. This is our reward. We also gave 70 children with physical disabilities...

Armenia: The Struggle Leads To Good People

Many families in Armenia don’t have enough money. While we work hard to enjoy our lives, they work hard to ensure that they can survive. The economic situation in Armenia is getting better but for most people it’s not the way it should be. I have visited a lot of different places in Armenia – Gyumri, Yerevan, Dilijan, Tzagkadzor, Meghri, Kapan and Sevan (I may have even forgotten to mention of few of them here). This has made it possible for me to see Armenia from different angles. The thing that I am most fascinated by is the fact that the more difficult life is, the better a person is for it. This it might sound confusing for those of you reading this. And of course, what I am telling you is what I alone have experienced; it’s not an observation that rings true for everyone. The fact that this has fascinated me for quite some time has...

Music Connects Us To Each Other

Music contains emotion, yet it isn’t made for joy only; sometimes it’s an attempt to transmit a message to the world. Sometimes we can’t describe the feelings we have with words but we can deliver them through sound. This, in essence, is where lies the power in music, which can bring people together. Last summer, I was sitting in a bus to Yerevan. I had a two-hour trip ahead of me and the only way to kill the time was to listen to music and sing songs. Another volunteer named Emilia from the U.S., offered us to listen to her playlist. I almost knew every song but Emilia, who thought that people in Holland don’t listen to the same music as people in America, was nearly shocked every time I started to sing along. “Do they really play this song in Holland?” she would ask. It was...

The Spirit of Giving

When I walk down the streets these days I see a lot of people buying Christmas gifts. Why do we give each other presents during Christmas? And why does giving give us such a good feeling? The answer to the first question is that the main reason we have the custom of giving and receiving presents at Christmas–it’s to remind us of the presents given to Jesus by the three Wise Men. The Wise Men gave Jesus frankincense, gold and myrrh. And we feel good when we give because giving connects us to others, which makes it possible to create stronger communities. It is actually proven that giving is connected to happiness, health and personal growth. During Christmas children believe that Santa Claus delivers presents to...

Little Nane Has Big Things to Say

I love good quality music. And I love it even more if it’s produced in Armenia. I think there’s potential to put Armenia on the music map with all the talent we have available. So what else to do but support them? That’s basically how it all began. Ayo! had a meeting with the rock band Dogma because we wanted to find some ways to work together pretty much because we just love their music. And we’re not the only ones. We were after a partnership with the band and for something big or small, be it a joint project, an activity or a concert. During our discussions the band’s producer Vartan mentioned that Dogma had been working on and off for about a year on a song...

My Third Masiv Family

I swear I caught a glimpse of heaven’s love when I visited FAR’s soup kitchen in third Masiv last Thursday. There, I witnessed something unlike anything I had ever seen before: love and warmth in its most pure, beautiful and unbiased form. This love was displayed as a strong and powerful force flowing through the smiles and eyes and voices of each one of the FAR staff members working at the soup kitchen. This love was evident in the gratitude that radiated from the soup kitchen beneficiaries, those upon whom hard times had fallen most cruel. After finishing their meals of delicious bread, lentils and kampot each recipient remained at the kitchen to chat, to laugh or to tell a story. One wonderful woman even sang two chillingly beautiful songs...