Manana Students Deliver Award-Winning Photos of Crisis and Hope


Lili Zakaryan's_Waiting for a Customer.jpgAdobe recently recognized nine students from the Manana Youth Center in their “Crisis and Hope: In Images and Words” worldwide photo competition.  The contest challenged young people from around the world to submit a pair of photographs—one depicting a challenge they see in the world around them, and one depicting something that gives them hope in the face of that challenge.

“Many of the photos that the students entered into the competition were taken in the city of Nor Hajin,” said Ruzan Baghdasaryan, Manana’s founder.  Thirteen-year-old Hovnan Baghdasaryan’s entry, selected as one of the contest’s winners, was one of the entries taken as part of a Manana project to engage Nor Hajin’s children in after-school activities.  (The project was funded by the Bay Area Friends of Armenia, based in San Francisco.)  Hovnan’s photographs highlighted the economic crisis’s impact on this small Armenian town and one six-year-old boy’s dream of overcoming it.

More than one- third of the competition’s awards and commendations went to Manana students: In addition to naming Hovnan as one of the winners, Adobe also gave special commendation to eight other students from Manana.

The students’ work inspired the Adobe Foundation and their co-sponsor, What Kids Can Do, to announce a second round to the competition.

Manana’s hardworking staff  not only imparts technical skill Hovnan's winning photograph.jpgand artistic sensibility to their students, but also helps them develop sensitivity to the social issues facing their country, as well.  The Tufenkian Foundation salutes Manana’s students for their skill, for their success and for calling attention to their homeland through their accomplishments.

The Tufenkian Foundation has been a primary sponsor of Manana for almost a decade, and has worked with the California-based  Paros Foundation as co-sponsor for the past two years.

For more information on Manana, and to view a selection of winning photographs, please visit

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