On June 23, a seminar for parents of disadvantaged children took place at the Social-Educational Center in Noyemberyan, a small town in the Tavush province of northeastern Armenia, near the border with Azerbaijan.
The Center, which the children lovingly call “Paponts Tun” (Պապոնց տուն – Grandpa’s house), was launched just last year and is based on the service provision model of the Family and Community NGO of Metsamor, one of the Foundation’s most successful initiatives. To transmit their experience and expertise to the Center in Noyemberyan, the NGO’s social workers hold weekly seminars at the “Paponts Tun”.
The series of seminars explores the different stages of children’s growth and development, discussing the various challenges and intricacies of each stage. Twelve participants (mothers of disadvantaged children) took part in the May 23 seminar, during which children’s behavior during their adolescence and teenage years was discussed. With many mothers unable to afford babysitters to look after their children while they attend the seminars, some choose to bring their children with them. As we were told by the mothers themselves, attending the seminars together has become a new way for them to bond with their children.
More than 90 children, including children with disabilities, children of single parents and children from economically disadvantaged families, currently attend the Center, where they participate in various clubs and workshops (carpet weaving, chess, woodwork, national dances, the peace club, etc.). For many children of this border town and nearby villages, the Center has become the only place where they can learn, grow and play in a safe and nurturing environment.