Fundraiser to Give a Home to a Wounded Soldier in Artsakh Hits 50%

Mher Araqelyan’s family.

Mher Araqelyan’s family.

The house currently rented by Mher’s family.

The house currently rented by Mher’s family.

The house currently rented by Mher’s family.

The house currently rented by Mher’s family.

Tufenkian Foundation – 12/1/18

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In April 2016, the people of Artsakh suffered unprecedented violence, as Azerbaijan launched unprovoked assaults along its eastern border. This escalation has since been known as the “April War” or “Four-Day War.” Mher Araqelyan, a 35 year old father of one, was one of the soldiers mobilized to protect Artsakh during this war. He fought and was heavily wounded at a front-line base near Jibrayil. Since then, he has been facing serious health difficulties and is currently without a home

To support Mher Araqelyan, the Tufenkian Foundation has launched a crowdfunding campaign to purchase a house for the family in their native Karmir Shuka (Կարմիր շուկա), a small village in one of Artsakh’s border regions. With donations from 56 individuals, predominantly Diaspora Armenians, the campaign has just reached its 50% mark and raised 7,500 USD. Another 10,000 USD has been pledged to this cause by the Tufenkian Foundation itself.

The initiative to provide housing support to wounded soldiers of Artsakh was launched by the Tufenkian Foundation in April 2016, in response to the Four-Day War. Since then, houses have been built, reconstructed or purchased for families of 8 soldiers, and the construction of the 9th soldier’s house is currently underway. Find out more about this initiative here.

When selecting beneficiaries, the Tufenkian Foundation gives priority to families in difficult socio-economic conditions. All 8 houses provided to date have been given to wounded soldiers who are unable to work and cannot built, renovate or purchase homes due to battle injuries and health difficulties. Mher Araqelyan is in a similar situation. Because of a deep thigh wound, he is prohibited from doing any physical work, is unable to stand for extended periods and is set to undergo another difficult surgery soon.

As Mher has been unable to work since his injury, the family primarily relies on his disability pension and the support of Mher’s and his wife’s parents. Without a house of their own, the family spends most of their small income on rent.

Mher and his wife will soon become parents for the second time – they are expecting a child. As they prepare to welcome their second child, their only dream is to have a home they can call their own.

You can contribute to this cause by making a small gift here and sharing Mher’s story with your network.

 About the Tufenkian Foundation
The Foundation was launched in 1999 by entrepreneur James Tufenkian with the mission to empower the initiatives of local citizens, support the most vulnerable strata of the society, promote environmental protection and awareness, and advance social justice in Armenia. Since 2003, the Foundation has broadened its scope to embattled Nagorno-Karabagh, where it promotes resettlement and development projects in the vulnerable border zones of the region.

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