Getap is a small village with 127 people, 32 houses and a reputation for having an incredibly hard-working population. Perhaps this comes from the extraordinary difficulties they have had to overcome: unlike surrounding villages, Getap has been completely deprived of water, both for drinking and for irrigation of their fields. Not only were they without a water source, but the children of Getap were without their own place to learn. There was no elementary school in the village, and all of the kids were forced to walk three kilometers (1.86 miles) to a school in a neighboring village each day in order to receive an education.
Hearing of these problems, the Foundation visited this small village and was touched by the struggles of the people there. We were impressed especially by their determination to work and learn and live, despite their difficulties. Eventually we decided that something had to be done to sustain the village and significantly improve its quality of life.
Today, the situation in Getap is palpably different. The village now has full access to clean drinking water and water for irrigation. This reduces illness, improves agricultural productivity, both for selling and consumption, and allows more time for the local population to spend on other activities. Even more exciting is the new elementary school, built for children between the ages of 6 and 9. Now, these children are secure in their ability to attend school without the stress and physical obstacles of having to walk miles every day.
Adjacent to the new school, we have opened a community center for youth. Found in a formerly ruined building with only four walls, the renovated facility is a place where kids can go to learn painting, take dance classes and be together and socialize instead of being out in the streets. The center also serves children from three neighboring villages, where there are no after-school activities.
Alongside these efforts, we have renovated nearly half of the homes in Getap. The homes are now more structurally sound and better equipped to shelter families amidst great climatic fluctuations. Encouraged by these changes, the villagers themselves also began to expand their own living spaces, adding new rooms and additions to their homes. This is just one example of how the productivity in the village has increased by leaps and bounds. Even the government became inspired by these developments and gave their support to renovate the remaining homes in the village.
The Getap projects have been accomplished in collaboration with the Armenian Community Council of Great Britain (ACC).