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Stepanavan, Armenia 2014

Bringing hope to families in need

© 2013 David Davtyan/World Vision

A personal tale of change in Stepanavan EVERY CHILD FREE FROM FEAR

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Dear friend

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Social workers transform lives


our sponsorship gifts are helping individual children across Stepanavan, but your support also helps to make life easier, safer and happier in other ways. One very important aspect of our work here is supporting community social workers, who help the poorest families living in this part of Armenia. Maria is one of the new social workers active in Stepanavan. In one case she was on hand to help when a mother realised she was HIV positive while in labour with her second child. Maria had taken part in the HIV prevention project, which helped her to decide on the best course of action. Maria was able to provide formula milk for the baby, to avoid any chance of HIV infection through breastfeeding. She also visited the mother and child

regularly to make sure they were both doing well, and helped them get regular checkups at the hospital.

Social workers have coordinated closely with community mayors and other local authorities, and have managed to prevent 24 children from being sent to orphanages

Working with the HIV positive mother, Maria realized that many people in the community just weren’t aware of the risks they faced. Maria worked with the hospital and some local teens that she had trained to organise a community workshop. During the workshop, the community learned about the risks of HIV/AIDs and how they could prevent themselves from contracting the disease. Almost half of all children in Stepanavan have now been educated about the disease. Discrimination against people who have HIV has also sharply decreased. © 2012 Alvard Davoyan/World Vision

You’ve supported the training of social workers, who’re protecting children and reducing HIV transmission in Stepanavan.

It is thanks to your help that World Vision has been able to train social workers like Maria. We’ve worked with USAID and another local charity in Armenia to train social workers on HIV prevention and child protection. On a number of occasions in 2013 social workers have acted to protect children in especially difficult situations. Social workers have coordinated closely with community mayors and other local authorities, and have managed to prevent 24 children from being sent to orphanages.

In another case, two of Maria’s colleagues succeeded in preventing three little boys from being sent to an orphanage unnecessarily. The children were living with their younger sister, mother and grandmother. The family was living on only a small social security payment and the grandmother’s pension. But the biggest problem the family faced was that the mother suffered from alcoholism. She was unable to help with planting and growing vegetables to feed or support the family. Her addiction meant she was forgetting to care for her sons and was neglecting them. A community social worker was visiting the family regularly and, with your support, providing additional food and other basic necessities. But the mother then suddenly decided that she would Maria worked with leave her three sons in the care of their grandmother and move to another town.

the hospital and some local teens that she had trained to organise a community workshop

The grandmother, who is elderly, infirm and very poor, was unable to take care of the children. The social worker organised a meeting with the community leaders to decide how they could help the family.

© 2012 Alvard Davoyan/ World Vision

Social workers are regularly checking up on vulnerable children to make sure they are kept safe, healthy, and that their rights are protected.

They contacted another social worker, Today, Inna has been who works in another village where the appointed as her children’s elder sister, Inna, lives with her husband. Inna was eager to take care of brothers’ official her brothers and wanted to make sure guardian, and she is they were kept out of the state-run bringing them up with orphanage. Today, Inna has been appointed her own daughter as her brothers’ official guardian and she is bringing them up with her own daughter. Social workers continue to visit and support the family and the brothers have all become sponsored children. They take part in many of the activities supported by your gifts, ensuring that they are learning about their rights and going to school. Without your support this network of social workers would not be able to help these families in need. It’s another example of how your help is giving children who have had a difficult early childhood the chance to enjoy happier, healthier lives.

© 2014 Alvard Davoyan/World Vision

One social worker was able to settle three abandoned little boys with their sister in a nearby village, who’s now raising them as her own.

27 families are using worms to make compost which they can then sell on to other farm families to help them grow more crops.

Helping families to eat a healthier diet

© 2013 Tigran

Mkrtchyan/W orld Vision

With your help, we have been helping farming families grow a greater variety of crops over the past year. As well as improving families’ diets, this provides an additional source of income. Altogether, 250 farmers have taken part in training sessions, learned to grow new produce, or improved their animal breeding. Working with World Vision Canada, we’ve also taught children how to breed rabbits, which has already increased family income and improved diets.

Giving young people a voice

m across In 2013, children fro youth leadership d Stepanavan attende s help to integrate camps. These camp in vulnerable children some of the most an is re the s mp the ca the community. At se tho for re ca d an emphasis on equality e discrimination. Whil in need instead of ip, rsh de lea t rn abou at camp, children lea . ice rv se ity un mm volunteering and co action themselves e tak n the n re ild Ch s ned home. Activitie once they have retur d an , rk pa a local included cleaning up sses to help cla er mm su ing organis s to start school kid l prepare pre-schoo in the autumn.

Children take part in leadership training at summer camps last year.

© 2014 David Davtyan/World Vision

Stepanavan, Armenia

Children have been debating different issues that are important to them, and learning about their rights through new student run debate clubs.

© 2013 Mushegh Sofyan/World Vision

Expressing views through debate and dram a Your

suppor t has been helping children improve their co mmunication skills and raise community awareness about their fears. Student co uncils now run de bating clubs in forum th eatres across Step anavan. The children rese arch and debate issues like adoption, natu ral disasters, over coming prejudice, and sa fe usage of the int ernet. In November, on th e International D ay for the Prevention of Ch ild Abuse, five of the forum theatres presente d performances ab out the need to stop vio lence against child ren.

A bit more about


Stepanavan lies in the Lori Region of Armenia. Bounded on all sides by rug ged mountains and cut by sheer gorges, Lori is a dramatically beautiful region in the nor th of Arm enia. With a significant loss of ind ustr y and jobs after the collapse of the Soviet Un ion, Armenia is a countr y which is still struggli ng to get to grips with the transition from the communist era. Low-income Armenian fam ilies, and women in par ticular, face daily challen ges, including domestic violence and child abuse. As a result, children are bad ly affected by low living standards. A lack of rea dily available access to healthcare and adequate quality education means that many youth and children (particular ly those with special education needs) are excluded from education or are unable to reach their full potential. World Vision Arm enia is working with local par tners and com munity members to develop “informed and pro sperous communities.”

Here are the


per Gross National Income F, 2011) ICE capita: £2018 (Source: UN on Government expenditure education (% of GDP): 4% (Source: IMF, 2010)

m Under-fives suffering fro stunted growth: 19% (Source: UNICEF, 2011)

Under-five mortality per 1,000 18 (Source: UNICEF, 2011)

© 2012 Alvard Davoyan/World Vision

Lifecycle of a World Vision sponsorship programme

Your community is in Phase 2

Phase 1

Building trust and laying groundwork.

Phase 2

Contributing to child well being together

Phase 3

Preparing to leave behind more resilient communities

As World Vision prepares to World Vision and communities leave, communities are better work together building skills so Communities and World Vision children and families benefit and equipped to continue their own development: caring, protecting participate in projects such as plan long-term and providing for children. education, nutrition, clean water, projects together. child protection, food security and healthcare. Partnership with community established.

All photos © World Vision In some instances, names have been changed to protect children’s identities

Registered Head Office address: World Vision UK, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0ZR World Vision is a registered charity no. 285908, a company limited by guarantee and registered in England no. 1675552. Registered office as above 2014_ARM_STE