Poverty graduation _ Armenia_ Zepyur

Zepyur is now hopeful that she can provide the best care for her children

None of us knows in advance how the life will turn out. We dream, but the reality is quite different.

Zepyur got married in Yerevan. After the birth of her daughter, she divorced and returned to her father’s house, where her father, mother and two brothers lived. And her youngest brother was of his daughter's age. Her mother died after some time, and the care for the family entirely fell on her shoulders. The family lived in very tough conditions. They lived in an old trailer. After a long time, owing to the state support, a house was purchased for them, which is one of the old houses in the village with the roof and windows being changed.

“We live in hard conditions. It became even more difficult after my mother died. She used to help me a lot. She was the only breadwinner in the family. We bought a TV on a loan, now I am working to pay it off. I do not have enough time to take full care of my children. I work in Yerevan and live at my relative’s home,” Zepyur says.

Twelve years old Monica helps her mother with household chores. She has a dream: “I dream of becoming a singer, but I am ashamed to sing when there is an audience. I like our house, I help my grandfather to feed the lambs, I go to school, and I want to be a singer,” she says.

The problems in this family are too many. The needs of the family were assessed and relevant systematic assistance was provided owing to the multi-sided work of the staff  of World Vision’s Aparan Office. The family was involved in World Vision’s ‘Poverty Reduction Programme’ that helps extremely poor families improve their living and overcome extreme poverty.

“We are very grateful to World Vision; they came and saw our living conditions. We could not even dream of hot water, when we were provided with a water heater. Each child received their own bed, now everyone sleeps in a separate place. The lambs and sheep are just our hope for tomorrow. Initially they gave us three sheep and three lambs. I am not even sure about their exact quantity, as it has increased a lot. We do not slaughter or sell these domestic animals. My father and sons take them to the pasture to graze and grow well, and we will sell the milk and cheese. The support by World Vision is quite significant. They regularly come to our distant village, take care of us and teach us how to live well,” says Zepyur.

The Poverty Reduction 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 in the field of parenting skills, provision of knowledge on healthy nutrition and hygiene of children, assistance in the solution of the employment issues.

Zepyur has also participated in the courses on parenting skills, financial literacy and hygiene as part of the programme. She speaks with great enthusiasm about these initiatives, “These courses gave me useful knowledge. I have also attended lessons on the operation of water heaters to learn how to use them. World Vision has done a lot for my child. My child is underweight for his age and does not eat well. They sent us to the primary physician, and then they paid for the treatment in Yerevan. They support my child with food, clothes, shoes and stationery sets. There is so much to say…,” she says.

Zepyur is now hopeful that she can provide the best care for her children, "I know that we will all be happy one day".

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.