Donors/Partners: Individual Donors, Embassy of the United States of America to Armenia
Implementing Organization: Aleppo-NGO
Project Duration: October 2014 – 2017
Major Goal: To ensure that Syrian refugee children and adults with mental and physical disabilities receive the necessary education, care, psychological support, as well as mental and physical therapy in Armenia.
The original “Arevik” Center for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities was established in 2001 in Aleppo and was forced to shut its doors due to the ongoing war in Syria. Now, since October 2014, students of the “Arevik” Center who have escaped the destruction of the Syrian war are once again able to enjoy the center’s activities, this time within Aleppo-NGO’s safe walls.
Currently, twelve children and adults with disabilities attend the center . The students participate in painting, music and physical education classes, psychological support, theater-therapy and speech training through the center’s dedicated teachers and staff, all free of charge. The center covers the cost of their home-center-home transportation costs and provides one meal throughout the day (breakfast or lunch). Cultural events are also organized for the students, contributing to their effective integration into civil society.
To sustain the center’s vitality and performance efficiency, Aleppo-NGO continuously seeks lasting solutions and support as it entirely runs on temporary sponsorships, grant funding and raised funds through collaborative efforts.
In November 2015, Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable Organization received grant funding from the U.S. Government under the Julia Taft Fund for Refugees to create a better environment for refugee children and adults with disabilities. This four-month project, which ended in January 2016, has had long-term benefits as it enabled access to special therapies and treatments in quality facilities.
Today, thanks to the “Better Environment for Refugee Children and Adults with Disabilities” project supported by the Julia Taft Fund for Refugees, the “Arevik-Armenia” Center has the means to provide for the needs of refugee children and adults with disabilities, emphasizing the well being of their spiritual and physical health, self-development, education and integration into society. The refurbished center serves both Syrian refugees and locals with disabilities, implementing various social activities to meet their individual needs.