At the foot of the eponymous mountain, Ararat is one of the poorest villages in Armenia. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the huge cement factory that provided jobs for the whole region stopped. The inhabitants’ only concern is now to find something to eat.
They crowd into insalubrious hovels built with nothing, sometimes on ruins, sometimes on interrupted building sites, for lack of means, sometimes on nothing. In one of them, a family of five, a couple and their three children, live in a single room of barely 6 square metres, littered with rubbish.
In another, an old lady, driven mad by loneliness and poverty. While her room is lucky enough to have four walls and a roof, the adjacent rooms do not even have a floor.
The cause of this ambient poverty is simple and terrible…
Despite the fertility of the land, it is risky for a villager to invest his or her savings in agriculture; it would only take one bad year for them to lose the little they have. Most of the parents here cannot read or write, so it is difficult if not impossible for them to receive any kind of aid from the State, or even to enrol their children in school. They do a succession of odd jobs, often the women work in the fields, the men work in factories or on building sites, and they find money as they can. In some houses, there are veterans of the war just liberated by the Azeris, in others, disabled children whose parents cannot afford the treatment.
SOS Chrétiens d’Orient volunteers regularly visit these families to distribute basic necessities and help them cope with their difficult daily lives.
In the villages of Ararat, SOS Chrétiens d’Orient is engaged in donation missions to hundreds of destitute families. With the help of war veteran Myasnik, known throughout the Armenian diaspora for his heroic rescue of a baby during an attack on a village in Artsakh, the volunteers visit the families and assess their needs.
To the most needy, they give pregnant sows, which, once they have given birth to about ten piglets, will be a source of income for the Armenians through the sale of the meat. As the piglets grow and are weaned, they can then either sell them or eat them, thus breaking the spiral of poverty.
To other families, they give hens whose eggs they can eat or sell.
Thanks to your donations, we are getting closer to the evening when, when the sun sets on the Ararat region, none of these families will suffer from poverty.
With your donation, you allow us to buy the first head of cattle, whose offspring will eventually allow each inhabitant to launch his or her own micro-exploitation.
We don’t live in a film where everyone helps each other to fight poverty. In reality there is a lot of jealousy between people living in poverty.
I thank all the volunteers who come to give their time freely to others. God will repay them.