The program Psycho-Social support to children and lonely refugee elderly restarted in February 2015. The program aims at social integration and improvement of the living conditions of the lonely refugee elderly and children.
There are 80 children (aged 7-14), 120 lonely elderly people and 34 volunteers involved in the program. The program includes three dormitories from Yerevan city (4/10, 10/1 Artsakh str., 2a/7 Shirak str., 29/1 Moldovakan str.) and 2 dormitories from Kotayk region (In Abovyan and Hrazdan cities).
The program has two main components. The first direction is the psycho-social support to lonely elderly refugee. In the framework of this program volunteers visit the beneficiaries once a month, help them with housework, and organize social /cultural events. Once a month hygienic kits, and once every three months food parcels are distributed to the elderly people. The program also partially covers electricity costs in the winter months.
The second component of the program is the work with children living in dormitories. In the framework of this program volunteers organize various lesson and sessions for children who live in dormitories. The Classes take place in rooms that have specially been allocated to the “Smiley Club” program of the ARCS. Volunteers help the children with their homework, organize visits to cultural places, watch films and have discussions on interesting topics. During summer a camp for children who are most in need is organized.
Currently the "Smiley Club" component of the program is funded by Italian Red Cross, and the part of the supporting the lonely elderly is funded within the "Increased reslilience of Syrian Armenians and Locals".
After 2017 «Medicor» foundation in cooperation with Austrian Red Cross have been supporting the program.
For the period from August, 2016 to April, 2017 with the help of Swiss Red Cross and Swiss Foundation Financial support programme activities have enlarged, particulary the number of children from dormitories (from 120 to 200), the number of educational sessions for children and social events for children and elderly people.
Although the program had several financial gaps in the last 5 years, our volunteers never stopped their visits, which are proof of commitment, demonstration of humanitarian values and long-lasting tight connection between younger and old generations.