Little Alen lives with his parents and sister. His mother Araksya is a housewife. She loves gardening and is proud of the flowers she is growing. Araksya is a caring and smiley woman, but her family’s daily hardships are so complicated that anyone else could hardly go on as she does. Araksya’s husband used to work abroad from time to time, but this brought little relief to the family.
Alen’s sister was the first to be included in World Vision Armenia’s programmes. The child attended summer camps organized by World Vision Armenia.
“My daughter used to attend World Vision camps with great pleasure, she was also involved in different educational clubs. One day World Vision staff members visited us as we used to be a vulnerable family. They assessed the situation and decided to help us”, remembers Araksya.
After the assessment by the social workers, Alen’s family was involved in World Vision’s Poverty Reduction Programme. The programme is a series of multi-sectoral interventions to help the extremely poor families to combat poverty. The support includes social work with families, financial assistance to meet the most urgent needs, vocational training for family members, and training in the field of parenting skills, provision of knowledge on healthy nutrition and hygiene of children, assistance in the solution of the employment issues.
“We are very grateful, especially for having hot water now, as World Vision gave us a solar water heater. Previously, even washing children’s clothes used to be very expensive, but now we have hot water for all seasons, and we can make some saving,” says Araksya.
Araksya’s house was dilapidated. World Vision supported to change the windows, and it is no longer cold for the children.
“I was a nursing mum, and the baby was short of milk. World Vision gave us 10 sheep: a year has passed, we exchanged the born lambs with a cow, and now we have a cow. I want to have many cows and sheep so that I can make money, as I will produce cheese from milk and then sell it,” says Araksya.
This family has a great desire to learn something new and to acquire new skills. Araksya and her husband have participated in a training on the use of solar water heaters and its benefits. Now they enthusiastically share their knowledge with others.
“The course ‘Mother and Baby’ was very interesting. I learnt many new things about childcare and hygiene. We have also participated in a course on how to manage our budget and make savings. Every time we learn something new, meet new people, make friends,” Araksya says with joy.
The family has also benefited from the nutrition programme, as they were provided with seed potatoes.
“We sowed potatoes, well, the income was very low, but it is better than just doing nothing. Next year we will have our own seeds, but most of all I dream that my daughter will have a profession or learn a craft. It is important as in this case she will not have difficulties like me and will have good luck and live in a peaceful country,” Araksya says with hope.
The effectiveness of the program is stable; 48% of the participating families have overcome extreme poverty, 90% have increased their annual income, 77% of their children have improved their health and 82% of the families have had a significant change in their quality of life.