The Fuller Center for Housing Armenia has announced an initiative to build and renovate 100 homes between now and December 2015 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
During the 1915-1923 genocide, between 1 million and 1.5 million Armenians were killed — most of the males through massacres and forced labor and most of the females through deportation and death marches to the Syrian desert.
“We are reaching out to our compatriots around the world to partner with us on this new campaign,” said Ashot Yeghiazaryan, president of Fuller Center for Housing Armenia (FCHA). “We hope that families in the Diaspora will come together and support the construction of homes in the names of their loved ones. Our objective is to commemorate the Armenian Genocide in a respectful and positive way by addressing the needs of Armenia’s most vulnerable population, namely our homeless.”
The Armenian Diaspora has existed for 1,700 years, but the modern Armenian Diaspora took shape in the wake of World War I and the genocide. Of the total 11 million Armenians in the world, about 7 million are in the Diaspora. Outside of Armenia, Russia has the largest population of Armenians with about 1.2 million. Next is the United States with about 485,000.
American Armenians have been staunch supporters of The Fuller Center’s work in Armenia, where more than 650 families have been lifted out of poverty housing thanks in large part to the generosity and volunteerism of American Armenians, who have joined many Fuller Center Global Builders trips to the country. Yeghiazaryan knows that this group will continue to lift up their homeland through the “Honoring 100 Years by Saving 100 Families” campaign.
“The housing need in Armenia is still high,” he said. “Over 64,000 families need to either build or renovate their homes. We have seen that helping one family at a time is making a difference for a lifetime and impacting more than one generation.”
“One of the outstanding character traits of the Armenian people is perseverance,” Fuller Center for Housing President David Snell said. “For centuries, they have suffered under foreign rule and, yet, have come out a nation of strong-willed, determined people. It’s that same will and determination that has made The Fuller Center such a tremendous success in Armenia and will make their 100-house project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the genocide a success.”
Armenians worldwide are invited to support this project and honor the memories of loved ones who were martyrs or survivors of the Armenian Genocide. A donation of $10,500 will sponsor a single, completed home. The beneficiary family will receive a personalized commemorative plaque inscribed with the donor’s choice of message or dedication.
When a donation is less than a single home sponsorship, FCHA will combine the contribution with other gifts and assign a beneficiary family for each $10,500 collected. All donors will receive a profile of the beneficiary family with photos showing their current living conditions. When construction is completed, all donors will receive a certificate from FCHA and photos of the new house.
“Out of tragedy springs hope,” Fuller Center Director of International Field Operations Ryan Iafigliola said. “What Fuller Center Armenia is doing is providing hope to a new generation of Armenians. This is a positive and exciting response to an unimaginable tragedy, and one we hope Armenians around the world will embrace as they reflect upon their roots.”
To make a donation by check, write “Armenia-100” in the memo line and mail it to The Fuller Center for Housing, P.O. Box 523, Americus GA 31709. You can donate online by clicking the secure link at the bottom of this article. Any donor or group of donors wishing to sponsor a single completed home at $10,500 is encouraged to email FCHA at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide a message or dedication for the beneficiary family’s plaque.