On 9 April, Anna Yeghiazaryan, Secretary General of Armenian Red Cross Society, Firdus Zakaryan, Haed of Staff, RA Ministry of Diaspora and Hoa-Binh Adjemian - Head of Cooperation Section in the EU Delegation to Armenia announced the start of the “Promoting Integration of Syrian Armenians (PISA)” project.
Anna Yeghiazaryan, ARCS Secretary General mentioned in her opening speech, that wars and crises happen today around the World and in the 21st century people still continue to suffer from violence, hunger and diseases.
“Syrian Armenians are now among those, who suffer from wars as a result of Syrian conflict. Armenian Red Cross Society has been supporting them from the first day of their arrival”, she said. ”The new project, that we starts today will contribute to the self-sufficient and sustainable livelihood of our beneficiaries”.
ARCS Secretary General mentioned, that the project will be implemented in close cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations
Firdus Zakaryan, Head of Staff, RA Ministry of Diaspora reminded that it is the third year that our country faces the challenge of assisting Syrian refugees, and these issue is always in the circle of Government attention, particularly of the Ministry of Diaspora.
- “We do not manage to do everything. And here charitable, non-governmental organizations help the State institutions. Armenian Red Cross Society stood next to Syrian Armenians from the first day”, said Firdus Zaqaryan and expressed gratitude to the ARCS on behalf of Hranush Hakobyan, RA Minister of Diaspora.
Hoa-Binh Adjemian - Head of Cooperation Section in the EU Delegation to Armenia, mentioned, that he is familiar with the Syrian Armenian business skills and is sure that they need to be developed.
- “Armenia should use their abilities. They have networks, knowledge, values; it should be used as an advantage. This project will help homeless Syrian Armenians to reside in Historical Homeland”, he said.
Edmon Azaryan, Head of ARCS Disaster Management and Population Movement presented the components and main objectives of “Promoting Integration of Syrian Armenians (PISA)” project, emphasizing:
- We particularly give importance to the idea of creating Syrian Armenian businessmen network and joint enterprises. For example, if you have candy makers, they make individual business, you can establish production by bringing them together. We need to be that chain; the stimulus to unite them. There are multiple roles and responsibilities in the production chain. We will try to support defining these roles and responsibilities, so they will be able to work as a team.
․Michael Garabed, Syrian Armenian Businessmen Union member, jeweler, said that this program is raising positive hopes.
- “The most important for us is to become recognized in the market, that our products are produced and consumed. We are ready to cooperate and work in the frame of this project”, he said.
“Promoting Integration of Syrian Armenians (PISA)” project will be implemented in Yerevan and Shirak, Lori, Kotayk, Aragatsotn, Ararat and Armavir regions, starting from March 2015 till February 2017. The project is financed by the European Union (contribution - 94.1 %) and the Austrian Red Cross (contribution - 5.9 %). All Syrian Armenian families currently residing in Armenia will be targeted by economic component of the project, as well as over 1000 schoolchildren will be involved in educational activities.
The following main activities will be implemented in the framework of the economic component of the project: data base on professional job background will be developed, follow up job coaching will be conducted, the beneficiaries will take part on vocational and language trainings and receive start-up funding for economic activities.
The educational activities for children will concentrate on integration, foreign language learning lessons, school equipment and stationery and peer to peer approach.
As a result of Syrian conflict, over 13 thousand Syrian Armenians have fled and resided in Armenia.