The “Warm New Year” Initiative

1611749_785673566926_877095594_oYerevan, Armenia— In December 2013, the Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable Organization (ACCO) launched its “Warm New Year” initiative, to provide emergency relief assistance and financial aid to Syrians during the holiday season.
During the past several weeks, the ACCO’s representatives visited three Direct Provision Centers (shelter homes) to provide financial assistance to the Syrian families living there. One of the shelter homes was located in the village of Darpnik, in the Ararat region (marz), while the other two shelter homes were located at, 2nd Massiv and 5th Massiv neighborhoods in Yerevan.

1579836_785673457146_1700031196_nIn the initial phase of the operation, the ACCO volunteers performed needs assessments and situation analyses by examining the vicinity, inspecting the housing conditions and conducting extensive interviews with the Syrian families residing in the shelter homes.

“The Syrians residing in the 2nd Massiv shelter home are living in dire conditions,” said Dr. Mher Keshishian, Youth Committee member of the Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable Organization. “The stairway to the entrance was completely frozen. The windows of the building are broken. The rooms of the shelter home are extremely cold. These Syrians are in urgent need of food, clothes and money”.

Following the completion of the analysis and registration processes, the ACCO’s representatives distributed packets containing financial assistance, packaged meat (donated by the “AR Delikates” Co. Ltd), and ACCO’s Christmas and New Years greetings cards to 29 Syrian families living in shelter homes across Armenia.

1558886_785673606846_1483729333_n“The Syrian families living in shelter homes do not pay rental fees, however, they do pay monthly utility fees (electricity, gas, water) that usually ranges between $75-100 each month” said Berna Karagulian, Assistant Secretary of the Youth Committee. “For this reason, most of the people we interviewed preferred financial aid over any other form of assistance”.

Within the context of the “Warm New Year” initiative, the Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable Organization allocated funds to the Aleppo-Armenian Emergency Relief Body, which in turn, distributed food packages to 240 Syrian families in Aleppo.

“Through the incredible dedication of our volunteer staff, and the generous contributions of individual donors, we have managed to bring a temporary smile on the faces of 270 Syrian families during the holiday season” said Ani Balkhian, President and Executive Director of the Aleppo Compatriotic google play store lucky patcherCharitable Organization. “The ACCO will continue to assist Syrians in Armenia and Syria, while at the same time, explore avenues to find durable solutions for Syrians in Armenia”. A comprehensive report on the “Warm New Year” initiative will be presented at the conclusion of all the ongoing activities.