Tsovinar Avagyan

31 August 2018

Tufenkian Foundation Programs: Arajamugh village, housing support to re-settlers, economic development​


“I wish all the schools in Artsakh were in as a good condition as the one in Arajamugh, and I wish all the villages were being developed as actively and intently as this one. The children of Artsakh definitely deserve this attention”.

Tsovinar is a young professional living and working in Arajamugh, a border village built by the Tufenkian Foundation in 2004. She moved to the village several years ago and teaches history in the local school.

23-year-old Tsovinar grew up in the Hakaru village of the Hadrut region. She studied history in the Artsakh State University, in Stepanakert. And, immediately after graduating, moved to Arajamugh. 

Tsovinar chose history because she was always inspired with the patriotic character of the Armenian nation, and she wanted to explore our history in more depth. “I wanted to learn about everything that my country has been through. Our history is fascinating”. Armenian history, and the history of Artsakh, where the focal point of her studies throughout University years.

Her senior thesis explored the history of Artsakh in the 9th-10th centuries, one of the most difficult periods for the nation. She defended her thesis in May 2016, in the aftermath of the Four-Day April war, another difficult period of time when the people of Artsakh showed their strength and resilience.

“For the children of Artsakh to grow up with a patriotic spirit, it’s important for them to know where they came from, to know how they ancestors sacrificed their lives to defend these lands, to make sure we continue to live here”. This is why Tsovinar decided to focus on teaching after getting her degree in history. “My parents and grandfather are also teachers. So, this was a natural decision for me”.

However, she never thought she would end up teaching in Arajamugh, a newly built border village that she had only heard about vaguely. “It’s not easy to find work in Artsakh, especially for a recent graduate. So, when I heard about the opportunity in Arajamugh, I was beyond excited”.

Arajamugh didn’t just present her with a work opportunity. It was also a great challenge that she was happy to take up. “I knew, that as a young teacher I would have a lot to prove. I also knew, how important it is to provide quality education to these children, how much impact it can make on their lives”.

Life in Arajamugh is very interesting for Tsovinar. During the school year, she spends almost her whole days in school, either teaching, or preparing lessons or organizing activities for the children. “I try to make the learning process as interesting as possible for the children. And that, in turn, makes my job and life here very interesting”.

The school administration puts rather high standards on all teachers. They are expected to utilize modern methods of teaching, use visual materials, organize film screenings, discussions and other activities, etc.

When she first started working in the school, she was impressed with the performance of her students, and their desire to learn. “Children feel, that the teachers are really trying their best, and they respond with enthusiasm”.

Compared to her native village, the residents of Arajamugh are very different. They come from different places – some have moved here over a decade ago, others only 2-3 years ago. “Because the village is so new, it is not set in its ways like other, older villages in Artsakh. And because everyone here is a newcomer in a way, I never felt like an outsider. I became a part of this village’s life immediately”.

Another unique aspect of the village is how quickly it is improving. During her short time in Arajamugh, 6 houses have been built, the school has been renovated, and now, a clinic is being built. “I wish all the schools in Artsakh were in as a good condition as the one in Arajamugh, and I wish all the villages were being developed as actively and intently as this one. The children of Artsakh definitely deserve this attention”.

Now, Tsovinar is planning to stay and teach in Arajamugh during the coming years. Later, in the future, she has plans of going back to University and getting a degree in teaching.

To our question about what lesson from Armenian history she would like to give to every single Armenian, she said “We are strongest when we are united. United with love for our country. That’s all we need to remember”.

Building and later renovating the Arajamugh school is a part of our ongoing efforts to improve education infrastructure in Artsakh’s liberated borderlands. You can contribute to our work and help us build more schools for the children of Artsakh with a small donation here.

The orchard in Arajamugh, where Hrant works, is a part of our ongoing economic development efforts. You can contribute to our work and help us create more livelihood opportunities for the people of Artsakh by making a small donation here.

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