The straight road from Yerevan takes you to a small village, living where means waking up every day, walking through pink tuff houses, greeting men playing backgammon (nard) outdoors, and seeing children dashing through the streets, though now less often than they used to – cell phones did it all!
They have the most delicious barbecue, but pig breeding has slumped after the last cholera pandemic. They are known as Russian-speakers, but few speak the language nowadays. They count the inhabited houses not by the smoke coming out from the chimney but with laundry spreads.
“The future of the world is in your classroom” is mentioned in Meline Grigoryan’s recently published book about education management. She works with rural students and teachers with utmost care as she believes they are the core of a society.
After a challenging year, each piece of good news deserves some special cherishment. Here is one from us. We embark on a new journey to transform Debet, a rustic and cozy village located in the northern Lori region of Armenia, into the first SMART village in the country.
As soon as you step through the gate of one’s house in Yeghegnut village of the Lori region, the landlord rushes to invite you for a bite or a drink. Want it or not, here people won’t let you leave without a good treat.
They say the future belongs to those who prepare for it today. We prepare the youth of the COAF SMART Center for a better tomorrow by making a wide range of modern professions accessible to them.
Arriving at the office a bit earlier, taking a cup of warm tea, and getting mentally prepared to rock the day is COAF Alumna Lusvard Arakelyan’s “first self-given task” of an ordinary workday.
Ask Zardanashen village kids of Artsakh where they are from, and they’ll unanimously reply with a delightful smile on their face -“We’re from the prettiest village in the world!”
From ancient fortresses to impregnable heights, from dense forests to winding trails, from corners calling from the past to peaceful waters flowing to the future, COAF is here to show you an unknown world that you will discover in the Debed Canyon of the Lori region.
The COAF SMART Center, well-known by many as our business card, is home to over 1500 youngsters and adults from 27 communities of the Lori region. It is an innovative hub that unites people from dozens of villages that not only benefit from over 20 programs and services but also bring their culture, history, and unique perspectives with themselves.
The 45-day war in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) was an everyday battle of survival and a journey towards precious peace in every Armenian’s mind. Unfortunately, the price of peace is often high.
COAF-supported villages have new residents – people who are still in their homeland but dream of returning to their abandoned homes.