Lusine is a mother of two children, and her family, which consists of six people, lives in one of the villages of Amasia community in Shirak Marz. For years, Lusine's husband was working abroad, and this was their main source of income.
However, everything changed in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic when her husband couldn't go abroad and send money to cover their basic needs. It was difficult for the parents to even provide their children with food, clothes and hygiene items.
Positive changes in the family's life started, when the social workers of World Vision visited Lusine and offered her support within the framework of the 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 health.
"First we received our cow as support from World Vision. We were very happy when they brought the cow. Happily she had a calf after one month, we were really lucky. They [World Vision] also gave us hay, which was a huge support as well", says Lusine.
The family had previously been engaged in livestock farming and had some skills and experience. Now, a part of the milk obtained from the cow is used as food, the rest is sold, which helps the family get a stable income. Lusine happily mentions that a year later the cow had a calf again, thanks to which they plan to develop cattle breeding.
"This was a significant support for the children. When my daughter was born, I was giving her powdered milk, I was buying the milk, or the neighbors were giving it to me. But now there is always yogurt and cheese at home. It is a big change for our children", says Lusine.
The social workers of World Vision are regularly in touch with the family. Lusine and the children's grandmother, Tamara, participated in a number of courses and trainings, learned about positive parenting and raising children, acquired knowledge about financial literacy and savings.
"I learned a lot about the appropriate food routine, what is useful. Of course, we knew some things regarding this, but after the course we learned much more. We also learned how to count expenses correctly, how much money we can spend per month and how much we can put aside. This helps us think about saving money", says the mother of two children.
The biggest achievement for the family is the fact that Lusine found a job and works as a social educator in an afterschool program, operated by World Vision. Having a higher education, Lusine decided to continue her education in the master's degree as well.
"World Vision really stood by all of us, they supported the families with everything. The social workers always helped and supported us with any issue we faced", Lusine concludes her speech.
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.