On October 14, 2016, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Aleppo NGO and the Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA) Foundation for the welfare of the Syrian Armenians.
IDeA Foundation will assist Aleppo NGO in purchasing one-way airline tickets to Armenia for Syrian Armenians who expressed a wish to be relocated to Armenia.
“At this very important moment, when Aleppo NGO continues to receive more and more applications from Syrian Armenians to be relocated to Armenia as a safe country, the support from IDeA Foundation becomes the guarantee of their survival. We’re proud that noting the activities of the Aleppo NGO, an institution like IDeA Foundation expressed its readiness for cooperation in providing vital help to Armenians in war-torn Syria. This also speaks of Aleppo NGO as a trustworthy and reliable partner,” notes Aleppo NGO’s founding president Ani Balkhian in her statement.
In a statement on supporting Syrian Armenia from October 15, 2016, the IDeA Foundation particularly notes:
“The IDeA Foundation will complement the efforts already under way at the governmental, international and societal level, by contributing $250,000 at this stage. This will be allocated through the strategic partner AGBU that has been involved in relief efforts from early days of the conflict and other non-governmental organizations who currently implement Syrian Armenian support projects in Armenia – RepatArmenia, Mission Armenia, Aleppo NGO, and the funds will be aimed at planning and implementing the following:
aid to those who continue to remain in Syria (AGBU),
aid to those who seek temporary refuge outside Syrian borders (Mission Armenia),
aid to those who have decided to relocate to Armenia (Aleppo NGO),
aid to those who want to work and live in Armenia (RepatArmenia):
Resources will be allocated according to the specific requirements and scale of each program.
Individuals and organizations that wish to participate in this initiative may do so by contributing directly to the organizations mentioned above, or through IDeA. Bank account information for each of the partner organizations, and for IDeA, are available here.
Individuals and organizations that wish to help with lodging or job placement may directly contact email@example.com or +374 (0) 60 700801 in Armenia.
We are fully aware of the importance of preserving the Armenian communities of the Middle East. We are convinced that the national consolidation that we seek will help secure the physical security of Syrian Armenians and preserve their identity, regardless of where they reside in the future”.
To remind, since May 2015, Aleppo NGO implements its “Save a Life” program – an initiative that aims at supporting those Syrian Armenians who found themselves in a difficult financial situation and addressed Aleppo NGO asking for help to purchase a one-way ticket from Lebanon to Armenia. Aleppo NGO received over 600 applications within the framework of the program, and with the support from individual benefactors and from the St. Kevork Armenian Apostolic Church of Houston, Texas, the organization helped 250 Syrian Armenians to move to Armenia.
In an earlier statement from October 8, 2016, the IDeA Foundation addressed the current state of the Syrian Armenian community, noting, in particular, “As we watch the continuing violence in Syria, particularly in Aleppo, we feel compelled to offer financial support to bring Syrian Armenian refugees to Armenia. We are prepared to join other organizations and individuals around the world in this effort. This is something that must happen now. Even those who stayed and continued to stay throughout the years of fighting are now looking for safe haven elsewhere. We believe it is our duty as Armenians to help them.”