Children’s Center Establishment

Until recently, the children of Tsmakahogh village received no early childhood education before they started school at age six. To ease this big problem, a children’s center was established in the village in one of the classrooms of the school. The painting and sculpture teacher of the school, Mr. Sarukhanyan, who works at the school and lives in the village, led the effort in transforming the classroom into a children’s center.  The youth requested the assistance of Mr. Surukhanyan to help in the completion of the project.  In addition, they assisted Mr. Sarukhanyan in painting the walls, the ceiling, and the floor. Mr. Sarukhanyan painted amazing murals on the four walls of the children’s center, which included a drawing of Mountain Ararat. We ordered children’s furniture from Yerevan, purchased books, educational toys, a carpet, ceiling lamps and filled the room with dozens of toys donated by Milena Mkrtchyan.  

The children’s center was opened on August 16, 2008, the same day as the photo exhibit. Approximately 80 villagers (including youth) were present. Soon after the opening of the center, the school principal applied for funding to have a paid staff member to work at the center.  Unfortunately, the regional government was unable to fund the project. As a result, the parents who were eager for their children’s development made it their responsibility to pay for their own children to attend. 

As far as funding was concerned, my goal was that the villagers find a sustainable funding solution for themselves.  I am pleased to announce that the center started operating at the beginning of October 2008. It is in operation from Monday to Saturday from 10am-1pm. Parents are happy that their children are receiving some sort of early childhood education and the children are happy to be in that environment.