On December 9, 2015, a closing reception was organized in the frames of the events dedicated to the 25th anniversary of SOS Children’s Villages Armenia, which took place at Armenia Marriott Hotel in Yerevan. Honorable guests, as well as co-workers and beneficiary families with their children from a number of programmes implemented by the organization were present during the reception. Eiji Taguchi, the Ambassador of Japan to Armenia, Ahlam Abdulrazaq Al-Gailani, the Minister Plenipotentiary, Charge d’Affaires of Iraq to Armenia, Karen Hillard, the Mission Director of USAID Armenia, as well as representatives from partnering organizations honored the reception with their presence.
In the beginning of the event Ashot Kocharyan, the National director of SOS Children’s Villages Armenia, delivered an opening speech. He spoke about the establishment of the organization, the activities of the 25 years, and the implemented programmes.
“SOS Children’s Villages” Armenian Charity Foundation is child centered organization which has a core mission of providing care and development for children without parental care and children in difficult life circumstances. It was the first organization in the territory of post-soviet countries with its unique model of providing family based care for the children without parental care. “It is important that children feel secure, they have SOS mothers, sisters and brothers”, said SOS mother Astghik in her speech.
There are three youth facilities affiliated to SOS Children’s Village Kotayk in Yerevan city. Full-fledged activities have been conducted for ensuring needed preconditions for the youngsters to become self-reliant and contributing members of society. “If I have not lived in SOS, I would never become a full member of the society”, said Hayk, who had lived in SOS since he was 13 years old. Now he is a cameraman by profession and is on the way to have his own family.
In the field of advocacy SOS Children’s Villages strives to improve the lives of children without parental care or at risk of losing it through “Care for me” project, which is active in many countries worldwide. As part of the campaign, each participating country assesses whether the national alternative care system complies with the UN Guidelines for Alternative Care of Children. And, as Filaret Berikyan, the deputy minister of the RA Labor and Social Affairs, said in his speech, SOS Children’s Villages Armenia always closely collaborates with the state bodies in making amendments in the field of child rights and advocacy. “The activities and all the programmes of SOS are in line with the state policy”, said Mr. Berikyan.
Bernhard Matthias Kiesler, the Ambassador of Germany to Armenia, also delivered a speech during the event. He noted that he was well aware of the activities of SOS Children’s Villages, as there was an SOS village in his hometown. “I had donated the gifts received at my wedding to SOS Children’s Villages”, said the Ambassador, “SOS mothers are real heroes!”
Ashot Yesayan, the Assistant to the RA Prosecutor General and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of SOS Children’s Villages Armenian Charity Foundation, concluded the event by his speech. Mr. Yesayan congratulated the co-workers and the guests, and invited to taste the anniversary cake of the event.
After the official party of the event the guests, the beneficiaries and the co-workers of the organization had a chance to freely communicate and share with the impressions with each other, and talk about the daily working life. The event passed in a friendly, relaxed and warm atmosphere.
The event was covered by a number of Armenian televisions. By the way, it worth mentioning that a social video has been made and it is broadcasting during the weather forecast programme on Kentron TV every day.