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.

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.

Margahovit: mountains everywhere

If wherever you look, there is a mountain, then you can rest assured that you’re in Margahovit village of the Lori region. The mountains are so close here that it seems as if you could stretch out your hand and make a snowball out of the snow covering the mountain peaks. And if you go down the slope with a slide, you will find yourself at the foot of the mountain, embraced by spring.

Asatur Sarkisyan: a big fan of Rubik’s Cube

If you ask 17-year-old Asatur from the city of Tumanyan to describe his life in two words, he will do it in three: Rubik’s Cube, cinema, and video editing.

But his interests extend far beyond these hobbies. So far, he has managed to complete 6 SMART programs (Programming, English classes, Performing Arts, Finance, Digital Drawing, and Mechanics). He only regrets that he will no longer be able to participate in the Sound Design program.

Mariam Sargsyan: lost in art

Her day starts and ends with painting, and her favorite “motives” are birds. Mariam Sargsyan, a 17-year-old COAF beneficiary from Arevatsag village, has decided to become an artist.

Until recently, she managed to attend a Wikipedia club and Robotics in parallel to drawing, participating in COAF’s Aflatoun and English Access programs. As soon as the SMART Center opened its doors, she became one of the first students to attend.

The Mane vs. Gago Duo

– Did you place Gago somewhere comfortable? So jump on stage…
– Gago is already sitting, so you can start painting…
This is how the Drawing and Drama Therapy programs of 11-year-old Mane from Lernagog start.

Gago is a doll who has been Mane’s inseparable friend for more than ten years. Children and instructors managed to adapt to Gago’s presence.