Nina’s family lives in a region of Armenia where the winters are cold and windy and last for about seven months. There are five members in the family: Nina, her husband and their three children. The house is on the outskirts of the village, next to the 9th century church. Nina is a housewife who used to dream of getting education or become a master of some craft. The family lives in extreme poverty, as the spouses are unemployed.
“There is no job, we have a piece of land, but with no irrigation water. We cannot irrigate the soil, so the plants don’t grow well. We plant potatoes and we can’t water. The only hope is the rain. We often cover the soil with manure to keep it moist”, - says Nina.
As part of World Vision Armenia’s ‘Poverty Reduction Programme’, the family was provided with a water heater and domestic animals - ten sheep.
“It was so good when World Vision found us. They first supported our child; we received stationery sets, clothes and food. Then they gave us that miraculous device for heating water with solar energy, and now we have hot water every day. I used to bathe the children in the cold house, it was very uncomfortable, they got sick very often, but now it is not like that. We save a lot thanks to the solar energy”, - says Nina.
The sheep given by World Vision Armenia already have lambs, Nina and her husband take care of the animals and look forward to increase the flock.
“We want to have some 30 sheep; it will provide income, and our concerns will be eased. But the support was not limited just with domestic animals. I attended the courses where I learnt lots of new things, e.g. healthcare courses that focused on the hygiene, on how to take care of adults and children, the need to use separate towels and so on․․․”, - says Nina.
World Vision Armenia’s social worker says that Nina attends the meetings with a clergyman from Armenian Apostolic Church with great enthusiasm. Here they discuss issues of raising children with love and without violence.
“I also attended a course on the domestic violence. They told us that a child should not be beaten, that he would understand everything after we explain. Look, my children used to disobey before, even after being beaten, but they really changed after we started talking and explaining to them. In fact, only the right words can make the child calm down. I also learned how a husband should treat his wife, not to be rude, not to offend”, - says Nina.
World Vision’s ‘Poverty Reduction Programme’ is a series of multi-sectoral interventions that helps 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 healthy nutrition and hygiene of children, assistance in the solution of the employment issues.
Nina's husband also participates in developmental training sessions and encourages his wife. Nina considers this as a great achievement.
“I have many friends owing to these courses, we got acquainted and became close friends. We call each other, talk, share opinions. I am not alone anymore. There are many women like me living in difficult social conditions, and they need to talk and to be heard. World Vision was our salvation, they are by our side, they always come, call, ask about our problems and support,” Nina says.
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.