Housing for Wounded Soldiers

9.12.2016

Last April there was an unprecedented escalation of violence on the NKR and Azerbaijan border. This escalation has been known as ‘the four-day war’. In response to this war, the Tufenkian Foundation created a crowdfunding campaign to help people affected by this escalation and to restore the war-torn damaged areas. In fifteen days, the TF met its target of $45,000 USD. The funds raised were divided and allocated to three subprojects: a) medical assistance, b) house renovation and c) development of objective media response related to the situation in Artsakh. We wish to inform our supporters of the current updates related to these projects.

 

First, we aimed to help reconstruct and repair buildings and homes that were damaged. However, after seeing the large number of people injured during this last escalation, we have instead decided to help repair the houses of wounded soldiers. Many of the injured soldiers do not have homes, and if they do, the status of their homes is in desperate need of repair. Due to their war-related injuries, most of these soldiers will not be able to work to repair or purchase their homes.

 

When we decided to make this change to our original plan, we visited the homes of the injured soldiers and interviewed them to determine the extent of their injuries and the cost of either repairing their homes or buying them a new one.

 

We have already repaired the home of injured Special Forces Officer Vachakan Vardazaryan who worked as an instructor of Martial Arts before his injury. We selected his case first because he has two sons, both of whom are serving in the army. We started to work on his house in July and completed the construction work in November.

 

Vachagan and his wife in their renovated house Vachagan together with his family in front of their house
 Vachakan and his wife during their housewarming. Vachagan and his family in front of their house.

 

Very recently we have undertaken house renovation of Varujan Sahakyan – another April war hero. Varujan Sahakyan is 43 years old and before his injuries served in the special forces. He was badly wounded in Martuni region. Varujan is married with three children. Their house was in a very bad shape despite Varujan’s efforts to renovate it before the war. And now when health problems came along with financial difficulties, the family has completely given up its hope. It was very symbolic for us to learn that it was Vachakan who saved Varujan’s life.

 

NKR war hero's family NKR wounded soldier's house
Varujan Sahakyan’s family (left).Varujan Sahakyan’s half-renovated house (right).

 

Renovation works in the process
House renovation works in progress.

 

Besides assisting in house renovation works we also help those who don’t own a roof to live under. We bought a large house in Martakert city for two brothers (Eduard and Erik Matevosyan) who were both injured in April.

 

Matevosyan brothers' housewarming
Matevosyan family’s housewarming.

 

Another single-floor house in Martakert city was purchased for a contract officer Erik Babayan who used to rent a house in Talish village. The family preferred to live in Martakert because it is the closest town to Talish. They were forced to leave Talish following the April hostilities. First, the family lived in temporary facilities in Charentsavan (a suburb of Yerevan), but later returned to Martakert to live with relatives.

 

Wounded officer Erik Babayan, Artak Beglaryan, Raffi Doudaklian, Erik’s wife and their daughter (from left to right)

 

We do not intend to stop our efforts here. We wish to make this an ongoing project to help an increasing number of soldiers injured – from the early onset of the Artsakh war in the 90s, until today.