Sirak Gabrielyan, the electronics guru

There aren’t enough drawers in his bedroom closet to fit all the wires, circuits and machine elements he’s collected. The only table in the room serves as a repair station where he gives a second life to what at first looks like useless junk.
Fourteen-year-old Sirak Gabrielyan from Dzoragyuh village (Lori region) has been fascinated with electronics since childhood.
You probably already guessed that his favorite after-school program at the SMART Center is mechanics, but that didn’t stop him from successfully completing nine other courses with great interest.

The SMART Center’s most colorful corner

You will be astounded by the hundreds of games and toys you see when you first find yourself at the SMART Center’s Child Development Corner. The important thing is that you can play with all of them! Every week 140 children aged 3-6 from 10 villages of Lori province learn and discover the world through these games. They “climb mountains”, “build roads”, overcome their own fears and difficulties, help each other and have lots of fun in the process.

Christina Avagyan, living life in color

She has brightly colored hair, and equally bright and tasteful clothes. Her character is completed by unusual earrings and a bright smile. Meet the SMART Center’s drawing instructor Christina Avagyan, the walking color palette.

Christina arrived at Lori’s SMART on a “direct flight” from Armavir. Prior to that, she taught art for COAF’s educational program in the villages of Armavir.

The Makinyans, a family of musicians

The sister is obsessed with Asian languages ​​and likes to take photos of clouds, and the brother likes to cook and play virtual football (as a musician he can’t play real football because he needs to take care of his hands). Two things unite them: SMART and music.

Fifteen-year-old Lilia is a pianist, and twelve-year-old Zhora is a cellist.

The autumn sun of Yeghegnut village

The sun has been particularly generous this year. Its warmth is still palpable in the village, through the aroma of seasonal fruits, smoke from the fireplace, burning leaves, ash-roasted potatoes, and the flavors of sweet cherry compote.

It’s autumn in Yeghegnut, the best time to distill the last fruit vodka or eat khash (Armenian dish) with relatives in the morning.

The happy train of Hatsik village

“Stand clear of the closing doors, please. This choo-choo train is headed for the Child Development Corner.” A line-up of little learners moves from the waiting room of the Child and Family Center in Hatsik Village to the Child Development Corner.

Seventy five kids, aged 3-6, attend the Center from the Hatsik, Myasnikyan and Khanjyan communities of Armavir province. The Center’s coordinator, Ms. Haykuhi Piloyan, tells us that the Child Development Corner is to expand with the addition of 50 more children from the communities of Noravan and Lukashin.

Garik Ghazaryan, the big fan of photography

Sixteen-year-old Garik Ghazaryan from Debet Village is one of the SMART Center’s veterans. So far he’s managed to participate in seven programs. Prior to attending SMART, Garik was engaged in all sorts of activities, like karate, wrestling, dhol (Armenian drum), and Armenian folk dancing. Participating in the AgriTech program at SMART inspired him to delve into agriculture, specifically beekeeping.

Closer to the stars: STARMUS at SMART

The Starmus VI Festival of science and art was hosted for a day at the COAF SMART Center in Debet Village, Lori Province. Five speakers – world-famous scientists and Nobel Prize winners – delivered lectures about space, astrophysics and engineering to an audience of SMARTians and guests. The central theme was Mars, as the Festival was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the first landing on Mars.

Marts: the village, the mountain and life in between

Following the scent of the newly sprouted grass, the herd ascends the mountain. The locals say the herd’s first stop is the closest mountain and then the farthest one.
Most inhabitants of Marts village (Lori region) go to the mountains to work every year, and some even go with their families. A pair of extra hands in the mountains is always helpful.
While the men tend to the livestock, the women collect winter supplies – seasonal herbs and berries.

Vahagni village, home of Vahagn the Dragon Slayer

Welcome to the village of Vahagni (Lori province), immersed in the high mountains and golden seas of wheat. The village is named after Vahagn Vishapakagh (Vahagn the Dragon Slayer), who was a god of fire, thunder, and war worshiped in ancient Armenia.

A monument of Vahagn Vishapakagh has been guarding the gates of the village since 1973. Surrounded by bold green mountains, Vahagn stands triumphantly on his high pedestal. He protects the village and the children running under his feet with a bold look.