Anna has been looking for a job for a long time, striving to be a well-off parent. She considers herself a happy mother because she has a good husband and smart children. Despite the social difficulties of the family, she is hardworking, cultivates the small plot of land in front of the house, takes care of one pig and looks into the future with hope. Anna’s husband has often worked abroad, but has been back to Armenia for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anna shines with pride when speaking about her children. “My children are the light of my life. My son attends a music school, as he is very gifted: he plays drums, piano and accordion”.
Khoren is 15 years old: “First of all I want to serve in the army as a soldier; afterwards I want to become a piano player. I like Mozart very much, I also like drums, but I will become a pianist.”
“Unfortunately, my other child has a disability, he does not hear well. As for my daughter, she studies well. They are my hope”, says Anna.
“Our only stable income is the monthly poverty allowance of only 34,000 Armenian Drams (around US$70), but we try to go on with that money. I try not to deprive my children of good things”, says Anna.
Anna’s life has changed when World Vision specialists offered her support within the Poverty Reduction Program.
This program 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, training to improve parental skills, ensure healthy nutrition and proper hygiene for children, assistance with employment and income generation.
“It was a miracle I got acquainted with World Vision’s representatives. They came to our house, assessed the situation, and I had a quite active communication with them. They asked me various questions, found out that I like to sew, and gave me a sewing machine”, Anna continues.
During the Nagorno-Karabakh armed conflict Anna has lost her brother, and it was tough for her to work again, “I lost my brother in this war, but I will find the strength to sew again,” she says.
Anna has some health issues related to her spine, but she is confident that she can work and will not complain about hardships.
Anna's family lives in her uncle's house, but she is happy that they have shelter, as many do not even have it. She is very grateful for such an opportunity.
Anna also participated in several courses by World Vision - financial literacy, parenting skills, while her children attend World Vision’s ‘Navak’ Daycare Center where they prepare their lessons, receive the services of specialists, and have a nutritious meal.
“World Vision helps us a lot - food, clothes for children. I earn 200-300 AMD (around 50 US cents) a day with a sewing machine. It is still small amount, but in World Vision’s training sessions I have learnt how to save. I have realized what is important, and what we can just skip buying. I do not buy expensive chocolate, but I take fresh bread instead,” says Anna.
“Social workers are the members of our family, we know and love everyone. They have been next to us for many years, it is a whole life,” says Anna.
The efficiency of World Vision’s Poverty Reduction Program is sustainable. 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.