On 13 May, Dr. Anna Yeghiazaryan, Armenian Red Cross Society Secretary General met with Harutyun Arshakyan, Deputy Governor of RA Shirak region. Suzanne Egloffe, Raisa Sinelnikava and Lena Krylova, representatives of the Swiss Red Cross, also attended the meeting. The aim of the meeting was to discuss "Community Home based care, Advocacy and Health promotion among elderly and people in need" project, which will be implemented in Shirak region with the support of Swiss Red Cross.
Dr. Anna Yeghiazaryan, ARCS Secretary General presented ARCS activities and achievements in the Shirak region, noting the effective cooperation with the Regional Administration:
- We are grateful to Shirak Regional Administrations for long term cooperation. We give great importance to the work with state agencies to make sure that we respond to the needs correctly. Our activities in the Region include various directions: Disaster Management, Social Support and Health Care. In the Healthcare sector we mainly implement healthy lifestyle, awareness raising and harm reduction works, the region is involved in tuberculosis prevention project, and we have achieved serious results in the field of disaster management especially in increasing the resilience of communities.
ARCS has huge experience of working with communities. Working in different directions will be able to ensure comprehensive approach hence contributing in sustainable development of the communities.
As an auxiliary organization to the Government in the humanitarian sphere, National Society is doing everything to support and relieve the burden of the state where needed.
This is a long-term project, for about ten years, but we expect that the government will ensure sustainability in the case of funds shortage.
Lena Krylova, Swiss Red Cross representative, presented the "Community Home based care, Advocacy and Health promotion among elderly and people in need" project methodology:
- The project provides a new model for elderly home care, which has been successfully used in Switzerland. Elderly people, were left out of polyclinics and other social assistance projects, are involved in this project. People stay at their homes, but they are not isolated from the society, as a result of engaging in the project.
Experts noted, that this project is necessary, because the state is not capable to carry the burden alone.
Research has shown that when people are not ignored and involved in community activities, and when they do not feel themselves as a burden, their life is prolonged. The method is structural, when all work together, and the results are significant. In Belarus, for example, elderly with HIV, tuberculosis, cancer and mental deviations are involved in the project.
Harutyun Arshakyan, Deputy Governor of Shirak region welcomed Red Cross in the region:
- The Red Cross already has its signature and is very popular in the region. Due to the projects implemented in the disaster management and healthcare directions reducing the risk of disaster in our communities has already become a culture. Red Cross's work differs because it is based on human values. Since 1988 Red Cross started widespread activities in the Shirak region. The results of those activities, implemented projects in the region are obvious and tangible. We feel and see it.
There is a wide field of work for the new project in our Shirak region. We consider it important that the project is not a one-time assistance, but aims at involving the beneficiaries into the society and to make them a full member. Regional Administration is ready to support the projects, to ensure its success.
For the implementation of the "Community Home based care, Advocacy and Health promotion among elderly and people in need" project yet on 12-16 May, 2014, Austrian and Swiss Red Cross representatives Delegation, Monika Wild, Head of Health/Social Services in Austria, ARC, Raisa Sinelnikova, Consultant SRC, Expert in Social Sector and Community Development, Christine Rutschmann, Programme Coordinator SRC, Health expert, visited Armenian Red Cross Society.
The aim of the visit was to explore the field and learn about the social and health situation in the sector and in collaboration with ARCS start an operation. The experts met with various stakeholders in the field, visited Lori and Tavush. This was followed by another business trip.
As a result, these two regions were selected to implement "Community Homecare, Advocacy and Health promotion, among elderly and people in need" project.