On March 15, 2019, at 2 p.m., Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable Organization (Aleppo-NGO) hosted a meeting on behalf of the “Socio-psychological Assistance to Syrian Refugees,” initiative, with 48 participants in attendance. The meeting was led by Aleppo-NGO’s founding member and vice president Dzovig Makarian-Baytarian. Following a brief introduction on the project committee’s upcoming activities, Ms. Makarian-Baytarian introduced visiting lecturers Margarita Ter-Hovhannisyan and Tatev Ghazaryan. Topics of discussion included existing laws and institutions related to guardianship and adoption in the Republic of Armenia.
ARF Children Support Centre guardianship specialist Margarita Ter-Hovhannisyan presented guardianship procedures: the steps to becoming a foster parent, why children enter the foster care system, how to meet the needs of children, caring for disabled or at-risk youth, and remunerations. Ms. Ter-Hovhannisyan provided detailed information regarding adoption laws in force in Armenia as well as the work being done by the ARF. She also provided a brief overview of the history of guardianship laws in the Armenian society, which date back to the 4th century.
The next speaker was Tatev Ghazaryan, who holds MA in Social Policy and Administration and is currently a social worker at the ARF Children Support Centre․
Ms. Ghazaryan recalled her own experience working with three refugee children currently living at the ARF Children Support Center, highlighting the necessity of everyday psychological support for at-risk youth.
It worth to mention that Aleppo-NGO’s “Social-psychological Assistance to Syrian Refugees” program is organized free of charge. The aim of the meetings is to provide support to those who lived through the conflict in Syria and continue to struggle with psychological side effects. The program’s mission is to assist in survivors’ rehabilitation and help them reintegrate into Armenian civil life.
Professors and lecturers will be invited to these gatherings to share their knowledge and experiences with attendees.