In the frames of the housing project, 42 Armenian families started the construction of their half-built houses in the spring of 2016, and now, when the harvest time has come, together with the partnering organizations, they celebrate the long-awaited housewarming.
The Sukiasyans from Stepanavan town, Lori region, are one of many families that have received support through the housing project in 2016. They had been homeless after the 1988 earthquake and had lived in a metal container for 28 years. In 2000, the family bought a half-built house, but was not able to complete the construction and move into a stone house.
‘‘Sixteen long years have passed… and during all these years we were not able to complete the construction of our house. Every time we tried, we came upon an obstacle. My father was even thinking about leaving the country and working abroad to earn the money for the construction, but something kept him and us from doing that. We always thought it is better to live in a metal container, than be separated from each other. May be it was the strong bonds with the Homeland that kept us from leaving. I do not know. What matters is that our father is with us, and that we have built a house of our own. I am sincerely grateful for that!’’ said sixteen-year-old Lilith.
“Five years ago, when we presented apartments to 20 families in Lori region, we were hopeful that the look in the eyes of the children growing up in metal containers would change from sad and desperate to bright and optimistic. A child, who no longer has faith in the future, cannot bring positive changes to the country. Fully acknowledging the seriousness of the situation, we have tried to implement one more program with the aim of supporting socially vulnerable families. Thus, owing to the partnership with Fuller Center for Housing Armenia, we have succeeded in providing decent housing conditions to twenty more families in this region. My hope is that the hard conditions of life in metal containers will stay in the past and will no longer cast a shadow on the happiness of these families that strive to work and thrive in their Homeland,” said VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian.
“The story of this family is similar to that of hundreds of other families. People, growing up in metal containers, basements, get married and move into another metal container or basement or a half-built house. Unfortunately, the end of this cycle is still not noticeable. Nevertheless, the housewarming of each house is a step towards a victorious end,’’ said Fuller Center for Housing Armenia President Ashot Yeghiazaryan.
In 2016, VivaCell-MTS invested about AMD 105 mln for the implementation of the housing project.