Tekeyan Cultural Association’s Sponsor A Teacher Program in Kashatagh and Yerevan


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By Aghvan Asoyan

YEREVAN (Azg) — The Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA)’s Sponsor A Teacher program this year concluded in Yerevan and the city of Berdzor in the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh’s region of Kashatagh.

The first stop was Artsakh. On October 31, the TCA staff was received with great happiness at Berdzor School No. 1. The visit was full of surprises for the TCA visitors. First, the regional Kashatagh government council repaired the steps of the school located at the summit of a mountain. Up until then, both students and teachers had to overcome numerous difficulties in order to reach the school.

The second surprise was that the school has been included in the planned 2015 budget for fundamental renovations of the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh.

Sirvard Tamazyan, a teacher at the school, declared, “Another significant page has been added to the chronicles of the school. The visit acknowledged the value of the 20th anniversary of this true center of education.”

The condition of the school, to put it mildly, was not very good, and this aid was quite necessary for the school staff. This was admitted by nearly everybody there.

History teacher Karine Hovhannisyan said, “There is no other power which turns men so great and wise as collective, cooperative work. Of course we receive this power at the school, which is our second home, and we are proud of it. We are also proud that our school bears the Tekeyan name. We are thankful to the members and supporters of TCA, who support us financially, and, most importantly, morally.”

The principal of the school, Anahit Kosakyan, wished everybody success in their work activities, and stressed the importance of such encounters—philanthropic acts through which they serve as examples to people and show the path leading to kindness.

The last stop in the TCA trip was Yerevan’s Vahan Tekeyan School Number 92. This school is different from the other four in that it is the “firstborn” of the program. The teachers have great veneration toward this fact and many even spoke about how they were proud of it.

Vice Principal of Education Kristine Harutunyan said, “Every year everybody with great excitement awaits this beneficence, and have great expectations concerning this sum. Though the amount is not that great, teachers today need it. It is also a motivating and inspiring factor, which gives the teacher the desire to work, do and create.”

After the money was distributed, the teachers gathered in the staffroom to converse with Edmond Azadian, vice president of TCA of the US and Canada, who had come from the US for this work. Azadian stressed that it was not the amount of the money that was important. He said, “I understand that in today’s economic environment, the sum donated is not all that large. However, all this could have been done in an impersonal fashion by just directly sending checks. What is important is the contact, the immediacy.” While presenting the sums, Azadian expressed his thanks to the teachers for the work that they do. He said, “We believe in the future of Armenia. Today there are more Armenians outside than inside Armenia. And if with this many Armenians we are not able to make this little Armenia survive, then shame on us.”

During the conversation, the teachers expressed their gratitude to the TCA. Some even spoke in the languages that they taught — English, Russian or French. Azadian was particularly happy with the Russian speech. Though he confessed he did not speak Russian, he gave his own thanks in that language too.

Armenian language and literature teacher Gayane Gharibyan said that they feel more secure because TCA exists. She said, “We wait for you every year, and, thank God, we all are aware that this is not only for the money, but to meet with you and to have you by our side. There are two major goals: one, that we feel more secure through you, and second, irrespective of age, it is extremely pleasant when a person’s work is appreciated. We await you gladly. May God grant that we too will be able to aid you in something.”

In a conversation with us, school principal Tzovinar Mardanyan stressed that the teacher is a dedicated individual, but “this helps him/her approach her work with even greater enthusiasm.”

Thus concluded the 2014 Sponsor A Teacher program’s activities. Next year will be the 15th anniversary of the program. Azadian promised that this symbolic anniversary will be full of no less symbolic surprises.

(Translated from the Armenian)