Families are the foundation of the Fuller Center for Housing Armenia. There is nothing more encouraging that makes us proud than the success stories of the families whose lives have been changed through decent housing.
The Happy Grandmother. 25 Years of Dreaming of a Decent Home
”Everybody has his/her formula of happiness. For my family it has only four letters-HOME. We have been waiting for it 25 years. When my son was born I was young and full of power. My husband and I were thinking that it will take us only a few years to build a home of our dream and our children will live in a decent home full of love and happiness. But it took us 25 years to build only the basement and the walls.
My family lives in the Pokr Vedi village of Ararat region. After marriage, Vachagan and I, have lived with Vachagan’s parents and brother’s family – ten people in two small rooms without a kitchen and a bathroom. In 1990, when our son, Haroutyun, was born, we started the construction of our own house, but we could build only the basement. In this basement we have lived about 6 years. 16 years ago a neighbor, who was going to leave for Russia, gave us his house as a temporary shelter.
All my family, my husband, my son, my daughter-in-law, my little grandchildren and I live there till now. Despite the fact that Vachagan is a hardworking man, and my son is already helping him, as he is a young man already, we couldn’t finish the construction of the house. Time passed by and it took us 10 years to build only the walls.
This year is the happiest year in my life. My family will have a home. My son, Haroutyun, was born and grew up in a damp and wet basement. I couldn’t forgive it myself. Now, he has his sons. I am so happy now that finally we will finish the construction of our home, the home of our dreams, and my grandchildren will have a better life.’’
~ Raya Hayrapetyan, a mother of two and a grandmother of four
A Story of a Young Mother
Since 1995 my family has lived in a small temporary shelter (domik) with only one bedroom, a small kitchen and a small living room without bathroom and other decent housing conditionsvital for living. It is severely cold in winters and unbearably hot in summers.
The only breadwinner of the family is my husband, Vahan. He leaves abroad to earn for living. Vahan has a 3rd degree disability. I don’t work, I take care of my two sons, Davit and Edmon, 10 and 4 years respectively.
Words can’t express the hapiness of a mother who knows that her children will no longer live in that metal container and will not be ashamed of inviting their friends to their home because of the housing conditions. Now they will have their place to play and prepare the lessons. Now we have a bathroom and won’t use pots anymore for bathing.
The 2014 was a year of a miracle. We have a home. Thank you so much!
~ Sokhak, a mother of two
When Life Changes its Grey Colours into Brighter Ones
‘‘I can’t even compare the life we lived before with the one we live now. For a young family like us this change was vital. The life has changed its grey colours into brighter ones for our family. Maybe I wouldn’t have believed if someone else has told me that miracles like this happen. But we ourselves were the eyewitnesses of the bright changes in our life.
2013 was and will ever stay memorable in our lives. With the help of the Fuller Center for Housing Armenia and the generous supporters we finally have a home. I will never forget how my three years old son was trying to raise the buckets full of concrete at the construction site, as if he understood the vital change that was happening in our life and wanted to be a part of it.
For a long time we have been living with my husband’s parents and brother – seven people in a very small house. For a young and growing family to have a home of its own is of vital importance, but we couldn’t finish the construction of our half-built house due to the financial difficulties and the needs of two small growing children.
Now we will do our best to provide our children with sustainable future as we already have the basis for it. This winter was warmer and full of laughter in our new home. Would like to thank all the supporters. Let many other families enjoy the happiness of having their own homes.’’
~ Lilit, 25 years old mother of two
A Decent Home and a Future for 3 Children
Each child should have a decent home. It is a basic need for raisinga physically and emotionally healthy, and educated, self sufficient generation. Once settled in stable, secure houses, homeowners can further improve their lives and the lives of their children. Having a home of their own often lifts these families out of poverty. A bright example of this is the Avetikyan family, which includes the father of the family, Vrezh Avetikyan, the mother of the family Naira Vanyan, and their three sons: Samson (10), Vahe (8), and Vahan (8).
For a very long time the Avetikyans from Lori Region had been living in Vrezh’s paternal house with his parents and two brothers. But the family was very crowded and it became impossible for them all to live there. Soon after their marriage in 2000, Vrezh and Naira moved to a temporary shelter, a domik.
At first it didn’t seemso bad and they were able to handle the difficulties. But after the children were born it became more and more difficult: the inconveniences of the metal container, which is severely cold in winter and unbearably hot in summer, the lack of bathroom utilities, and limited space for the children to play or study were making it more and more dangerous for the family. Above all, one of the twins was born weaker than the other, and they spent a lot of time in hospitals. There was too much psychological and financial stress.
The low income coming from Naira’s work as a teacher and Vrezh’s work as a driver was not enough for raising children and finishing the construction of the half- built house on Vrezh’s father’s land.
After many years, with the help of the Fuller Center, the Avetikyans were able to complete the construction of their home and are now living there. The happiness of having a decent, safe, and clean home where their children can grow into happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adults fulfills the greatest dream for this family.
A Family of Seven
Lejan, Lori Region, Armenia: The Sarukhanyan family story begins in Stepanavan town. Anichka, her husband, and their 2 children lived in a rented house when the earthquake hit on December 7, 1988.
The husband and daughter died. Soon after the earthquake, Anichka and her son Aramayis moved to the village of Lejan where they owned a barn. There they received a temporary shelter (a metal container called a domik) from the government. Eventually, Aramayis married and had a son he called Sargis. He began to build his own house, but was unable to finish the construction because financially it was impossible. As the family grew and his son married and had 2 children, they remained in the domik and added another domik. But they had no hope of finishing the partly-constructed house. In 2010, when they saw their neighbor constructing and finishing their house with FCHA, they wanted to be involved in the program andasked about an opportunity for another housing project in their village.
Aramayis and Sargis both work as construction workers, but Aramayis is not able to work as hard as his son does, as he has health problems. Anahitkeeps the farm. Their daughter-in-law Lena takes care of the kids and helps with the housework and harvesting. The family also receives welfare from the government. Their monthly income is around 300.000 AMD (900$).
Anichka passed away just weeks after the family moved into the new house. She had looked on and watched the construction of the new house. She moved into the new, warm, healthy house with her son and his wife, her grandson and his wife, and her great-grandchildren, and she died at peace. A few months after Anichka passed away, her grandson had a third child, a son.