At the beginning of 2022, COAF expanded the geography of its impact to Artsakh with the opening of a new office in Stepanakert and the preparatory works for the establishment of COAF’s yet another Child and Family Center, all led by the post-war priority needs of children, the emotional and psychological traumas, and the urgent need of taking steps in these directions.
Until the Child and Family Center in Stepanakert opens its doors, our Artsakh team has already started serving beneficiaries in our local office. On that occasion, our Artsakhian team of a psychologist, a social worker, two speech therapists, and four child development instructors visited Yerevan, Armavir, and Lori to get acquainted with COAF teams and centers with their multidisciplinary services.
The real-life experience with COAF beneficiaries and more profound understanding of COAF’s activity helped our new teammates feel part of COAF’s great mission and get inspired by the positive results recorded in rural communities of Armenia over the past 19 years.
During the trip to Armavir, our teammates spent a day at the Child and Family Center in Hatsik village, by the model of which the forthcoming namesake centers will soon start operating in Stepanakert, Artsakh, and the village of Karakert in the Armavir region. “I was amazed by the teamwork of the specialists, the way they studied complex problems from a multifaceted perspective and found a joint solution,” says Marina Gabrielyan, the COAF psychologist in Artsakh, who has seven years of work experience with children.
While traveling to Lori, our team toured the COAF SMART Center, visited displaced families from Artsakh, who were provided with permanent housing by COAF, and got to experience the fresh breath of Debet village, given the recent developments in the community. “I am especially impressed by the renovated administrative center and the newly opened guest houses in Debet. It is wonderful that people, including the residents, continuously invest in the village,” says Armine Arzangulyan, our social worker in Artsakh.
Starting October 2022, the COAF Stepanakert branch has launched the provision of psychological, speech therapy, and social work services. In the next few months, the specialists will conduct evaluations and enroll around 500 beneficiaries in group or individual sessions.
Now more than ever, this package of services is coveted in Artsakh. “In the post-war period, violence, aggression, and suicide are widespread in the manifestations of human self-expression, so the presence of such centers in Artsakh is crucial. What’s particularly important, all services at the center are free of charge for both children and adults,” Marina Gabrielyan continues.