Social and psychological
Besides the need of improving food, clothing, education, health care and living conditions, our beneficiaries also have a great need for psychological support.
A troubled man has serious psychological problems, low self-esteem, despair; a feeling of hate towards others, intolerance, indifference … Just by giving food to a person the problem of nutrition can’t be solved. By his way of thinking that he might remain poor, he is convinced that he can do nothing, that he is miserable, that he needs help, in short, he adapts the status of a “victim”. There are people who are really in desperate situation, and in case of support they are ready to come out of the status of a needy person, work and live a decent life. Diaconia Charitable Fund is implementing a number of psycho-social programs which along with other directions of the Fund’s implemented projects ensure the desired result. Every month the relevant employees of the fund visit the beneficiaries. They listen to their complaints, carry out psychological assistance work both with the beneficiaries and with the parents, legal guardians who take care of disabled children and teenagers. These people are psychologically depressed and often very desperate. They are in need of communication, they want to be heard. During such visits assessment works of beneficiaries’ needs are carried out, so that the given support is timely and effective. The results of the needs assessment are converted either into support programs or become a background of a development program. One of the birthday’s unexpected gifts, the desired one is an attention and care. We very often spring such surprise on our beneficiaries, we present them feast. During the holidays we organize events in the Fund, as well as in the homes for elderly people, orphanages. We also regularly visit our beneficiaries living in rural communities. Works done with them have their own nuances. Many believe that they are neglected, abandoned, that they are ‘superfluous ‘. While implementing social and psychological programs the Fund gives importance both to support and development directions. During one of the visits we were in Lori region. The majority of people live with the problem of securing their daily bread in the third largest region of Armenia (9 towns, 105 villages). Programs have been made up for thousands of families and were funded by the sponsors.
For many people the problem of daily bread was solved, children have new clothes, they live in renovated homes, but along with all this another issue is also important: to ensure children’s joyful day, leisure and finally a carefree childhood. A satisfied child needs rest, entertainment organized for children, where they will not only have a rest and gather new impressions, but also with the help of professionals will learn new things, such as singing, dancing, painting, doing hand crafts. The foundation pays attention to such programs as well, because children living in bad social conditions in their dark and gloomy life are in need of bright, children’s daily activities, which they are deprived of. For example they dream of going somewhere in summer, relax in nature, breathe fresh air, but parents cannot provide it because in Armenia it is beyond means for the average, especially for people living in bad conditions. In Armenia the lonely elderly and vulnerable people live in plight. Their number is increasing. The main reason of it is the increase of the number of people leaving for work abroad. Younger family members are leaving to find work abroad, and the seniors are left alone in their homes in Armenia. Not all the emigrated find work and therefore are unable to financially help the elderly family members. The adults are left on their extremely low pension. In winter, they are in cold apartments, half-starved, alone; in summer for this people who live with good memories of harvest and boon abundance, there are no elderly care and entertainment centers, where they could spend their day, communicate with each other, eat, and get warmed during cold winter days. There are just homes for elderly people in the three major cities of Armenia, there are the old people who have no place to live; the number of applicants is high, there is no possibility to lodge all of them. The building conditions are limited.
The rate of single pensioners is high in the regions due to the fact that mostly people from the regions are leaving in search of work. For example, 2,000 residents live in the town of Tumanyan, Lori region, among them 80 people are single elderly, and what is the situation like in Lori region with its 290 000 inhabitants … Having assessed all the needs the Fund developed a plan for creating a summer camp, activity and educational center for children and the elderly people. First, it was necessary to resolve the territorial issue. The mayor of the town of Tumanyan, Lori region supported in this issue: the building of an abandoned kindergarten left from the Soviet era was handed over the Fund as a donation. We began the renovation and furnishing works. After providing the building’s facilities there was a need of teachers to deal with children, as well as psychologists and nurses to work with the elderly people. The number of unemployed is large in Lori region in general and in the town of Tumanyan, in particular. About a dozen people got a chance to work in this center. In the summer of 2016, with the support of our sponsors, we completed another important project, which was implemented not for one, ten, but for a hundred other poor families. In summer we carried out the Summer Camp program here, as a result of which 30 children were able to fully relax and enjoy the summer days. Programs will be continuous, and the next step will be directed to the elderly care. The program’s directions of Diaconia Charitable Fund are often carried out in parallel. If you give a man a fish, you should also give a hook for him to learn fishing; and give him a confidence boost that he will become a good fisherman.
While working for charitable causes, you serve as an example with the belief that one day an aid recipient will become a helper himself.