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Mane Mosinian
Russia participant
20 Apr, 2022

The Potential on the Border

4 min read

“Take care of Armenian children,

and love one another.

Love so much that you can live."

The last words of Vardapet Komitas

Children are not only a reflection of our future but also an indicator of our work in the present. The new generation clearly displays our mistakes and weaknesses, based on their attitude, their sincere reaction, and perception of several processes in society, some conclusions can be drawn. There is an opinion that adults are only aged children; whether or not one agrees with this statement, children, like adults, have something similar within themselves, and if you look closely, each of them is an individual personality.

The child in his own way, with the same sharpness and ease, perceives what surrounds him from the outside. Something fills and forms its basis in the future, something passing by to leave a trace in it, and one of the important tasks is the ability to discern and feel these changes. The social and political agendas in Armenia have been much more strongly felt in recent years. The country has experienced various shocks from the pandemic to the war, the echo of which is still especially audible in the border areas.

One of the brightest experiences in getting to know the children from border villages was the Become a Santa project. This project helped connect people who want to help children and children who, believing and hoping for a miracle, wrote letters to Santa. Among the children were not only residents of border villages, but also refugees from Artsakh.


When you pick a letter, you understand with what trepidation the child wrote about his desires, somewhere beautifully and accurately deducing each letter, somewhere hastily, but with great zeal, in order to keep up with the flight of his thoughts. More creative children left memorable drawings for Santa or drew what the war mercilessly took from them.

“For this New Year, I want a bike.

I want my lost homeland ... "

Tigran Gavalbabunts, 12 years old, Tegh village

In the letter, Tigran was brief and restrained, but he drew what was especially valuable to him. One of the symbols of the city of Shushi was skillfully drawn on a notebook sheet in the middle - the Cathedral of Surb Amenaprkich Ghazanchetsots (Cathedral of St. Christ the All-Savior). There were many letters, as well as wishes, and each of them is something more than a material gift. The child believes that he will be heard, understood, and will definitely be supported, whether it is a big teddy bear or world peace.

“When I heard about your charity, I thought and realized that I am the richest person, because I have a good family and I don’t need anything else. I have everything to be rich. I have no connections with Artsvaberd, my roots are from Yerevan, I am here for one simple reason - my father is a military man, and I wish peace and health to the world.

Thanks for all!"

Alen Babayan, 10 years old, Artsvaberd village

These were the children who saw war, heard, and felt it. Automated queues, bunkers, and sirens for them are part of their childhood. Their life is just beginning, and they are already looking at it as an adult. They acutely feel the need for support, protection, and care. They went through something that some adults stubbornly refuse to notice. They know what compassion, mutual assistance, and homeland are, and the value of peace.

Many children asked for warm clothes, stationery, and books. However, involuntarily your gaze stops at the letters, with requests to donate a military uniform. Whether it is the desire to be like the defenders of the motherland, or the readiness to carry out defense at a difficult moment - let everyone answer this question for himself. In letters, the children expressed support for the army, faith in a better world, and hope for a brighter future for the country. They shared their successes and their fears.

The Encounter

Despite the fact that many children managed to open up a little in letters they can become isolated and difficult to make contact when they meet you. They perceive any of your actions with a serious look and distrust, so it is very important to make it clear to the child that you are his friend. As described above, not all children were distrustful, despite everything that happened to them, they all smile with the same childish naivety and stretch out their hands to you. In difficult conditions, these children do not stop dreaming about how to learn to sing, dance, play sports, and be interested in something new. At first glance, it may seem that they are not interested, but it is worth revealing their capabilities, letting them touch something new, and their eyes begin to sparkle.These are talents covered with a heavy veil of everyday and social problems. They shun, are afraid, and do not trust, but if we open them, if we help them in their development, then we will get absolutely unique children.

- How old are you?

- 12

- What did you ask Santa for?

- A drone! I want to send it to our soldiers on the front line.

- Well done!

- I specifically asked for a toy drone so they let it through the border.

He said all this boldly and clearly, knowing the essence of the words spoken and the decisions taken. However, what was his surprise when he really found a drone in a gift bag, his eyes lit up with sincere happiness and faith in a miracle. Just recently, a boy, discussing the war like an adult, showing himself serious and mature beyond his years, now childishly with special trepidation, firmly held this drone in his hands and could not believe that his desires could come true.

Much can be learned from such fleeting conversations. The more you communicate with your child, the more you open him up. You open up together with him, something that was once completely ordinary for you, takes on new colors, and what seemed impossible and what many want to run away from starts to seem ordinary through the prism of childish naivety. These kids are full of contradictions. However, they surprisingly intertwine a conscious perception of life and that fragile vulnerability and susceptibility inherent in a child's soul. They just lack our attention, warmth, and help in development. It is only necessary to notice them. Having done this, perhaps we will find something special within ourselves.

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