The Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable Organization (Aleppo-NGO) is a humanitarian, charitable, non-profit, non-governmental organization that was established in 2013 to initially assist and empower displaced Syrians, having since expanded to aid Lebanese and Iranian repatriots, as well as Iraqi and Artsakh refugees in Armenia through emergency relief assistance and long-term developmental programs.
The organization provides direct humanitarian aid to these vulnerable refugee demographics while simultaneously developing and implementing long-term initiatives that provide solutions to overcome the major challenges of integration, such as housing and employment.
Over 18,000 vulnerable Syrian and Artsakh refugees (7,000 and 11,000 respectively) have received assistance from Aleppo-NGO since its establishment in 2013. Additionally, Aleppo-NGO has provided assistance to Iraqi, and Afghan refugees as well as Lebanese and Iranian repatriots. Since 2013, Aleppo-NGO has provided more than $3 million in assistance to refugees and vulnerable locals.
As more refugees from Syria, Iraq and Artsakh – as well as repatriots from Iran and Lebanon – begin to see Armenia as their long-term home, Aleppo-NGO is increasingly focused on sustainable housing solutions and economic development through capacity building and job creation.
Aleppo-NGO works towards an Armenia where all refugees and locals live together harmoniously, and jointly contribute to the development of an open and just society in Armenia.
In cooperation with our partners, Aleppo-NGO seeks to develop and implement lasting solutions to housing and employment challenges facing the thousands of displaced ethnic Armenians in Armenia, as well as to protect, support, and facilitate their integration processes and empower them through socio-cultural, spiritual, educational, and scientific development.
Before the Syrian conflict, the culturally diverse city of Aleppo was home to ethnic and religious minorities, including a large community of 1915 Armenian Genocide survivors and their descendants. Due to its strong and vibrant community, Aleppo was often viewed as the “Mother Community” of the Armenian Diaspora.
The Syrian conflict began in early 2011, however, violence in the country was not immediately widespread. In the summer of 2012, when the armed conflict reached Aleppo, many Syrians of ethnic Armenian roots fled to Armenia.
The sudden influx of Syrians to Armenia brought with it the challenge of integrating a large immigrant population into Armenia’s rigid economic and social fabric. At the time, no one understood the challenges of Syrian refugees better than Syrians themselves.
Recognizing the urgent need to raise the concerns of Syrians in Armenia and advocate for the protection of their rights, a group of Syrians held a meeting on August 17, 2013, where the participants unanimously voted in favor of establishing Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable Organization (Aleppo-NGO) and elected Ani Balkhian as president. The participants pledged their commitment to the realization of the organization’s objectives and mission.
Accordingly, Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable Organization (Aleppo-NGO) was officially registered in Armenia on October 28, 2013. Since then, the organization has stayed true to its founding ideals and continues to organize activities and programs to promote the integration of Syrians in Armenia, while preserving Syrian and Western Armenian cultural values and traditions.
As the circumstances of refugees in Armenia have evolved, Aleppo-NGO has remained committed to adapt. The deteriorating economic situation in Lebanon, complemented by the 2020 Beirut Port Explosion, has forced over 1,000 Lebanese Armenians to seek refuge and better opportunities in Armenia. Additionally, as the Armenians of Artsakh endured the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War, thousands fled to Armenia having lost their homes. Aleppo-NGO has since applied its experience and knowledge of addressing the critical needs of refugees beyond just Syrians, aiding all refugees who now call Armenia home.