If ever there was a time to mobilize efforts in support of Artsakh and Armenia, this is it. 17 years ago, when Birthright Armenia was founded, philanthropist Edele Hovnanian had a clear vision: to invest in thousands of young diasporans for an immersive community service experience, which deepens their life-long connections to and engagement with their homeland. They would become advocates. With a reserve of over 2,000 alumni in 60 different countries, that investment is clearly reaping benefits and will continue to do so for generations to come. We are proudly following the initiatives of program participants and our alumni, who stand in support of our soldiers, some serving on the frontlines themselves. They are tapping into their assets and connections, actively assisting refugees on the ground, doing political activism, spreading awareness on social media, aggressively fundraising, and fighting with numerous initiatives in various countries doing their part in this pan-Armenian movement. Here are just a few of the many ways, our volunteers and alumni are contributing.
Edgar Mardirosyan (USA) initiated a 1:1 match challenge early on in the war to leverage funds for All Armenia Fund. It has since turned into over $50,000 just by his connecting donors with employees in companies with match programs. Dozens and dozens of like fundraising efforts successfully resulted in tens of thousands of dollars raised, like that of Ardem Tutunjian (Canada) who matched all donations to All Armenia Fund, up to $2,500 in two days, and Nigel Sharp (UK), who with his wife Eva have raised over $5,000 in their goal to reach $7500.
Aelita Martirosyan (Denmark) in close collaboration with Children's Support Center Armenia initiated fundraising for the children of Artsakh.
Sarpuhi Kaprielyan (Bulgaria) supports a fundraising initiative for the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) helping with their food packages for the displaced people in Vayots Dzor province.
Araz Sahakian (Lebanon) and Matthieu Sahakian (France) started a new project Together for Armenia to help displaced families from Artsakh arriving in Armenian villages. They provide food, warm clothes, medicine, and hygiene items, as well as support wounded soldiers arriving in Goris.
Tatiana Rita Yusuf (United Kingdom) has organized a fundraiser evening of music, poetry, and community gatherings via YouTube.
Armen Terjimanian (United States) has planned a running a marathon in early November on the streets of Philadelphia for Artsakh and Armenia, which also include a call for donation.
Alex Galitsky (Australia) wrote an opinion piece, “Turkey's Trojan Horse and Iran Appeaser Azerbaijan Is No Ally for Israel” published in Haaretz.
Anoush Baghdassarian (USA) contributed in a joint statement of Harvard Law School students addressing the US government to take immediate action. She also authored two articles in LAWFARE and RIGHTSVIEWS uncovering the history behind the violence in Nagorno-Karabakh and analyzing Turkey's regional intervention respectively.
Tamara Shahabian Voskanian (United States), Los Angeles Armenian-American ethics attorney and advocate commented on the involvement of international powers in an interview with LA Times.
Sabrina Papazian (USA) published an article titled "In Times of Conflict, How Can We Support the People Who Keep Culture Alive," in Smithsonian Magazine to raise awareness about the importance of preserving the Armenian cultural heritage and to highlight the threats that it is exposed to currently.
Leo Torosian (Canada) reached out to the High Commissioner’s Office, where he has volunteered a year and a half ago, to offer his volunteer services again then arrived at their offices three days later ready to work.
Syuzi Gevorgyan (Russia) volunteered to go to Artsakh as a nurse.
Nyree Abrahamian (Canada) is volunteering at the Media Center in Goris to facilitate the coordination of the international press.
Peter Barsamian (USA) is working with Paros Foundation to help match donations to All Armenian Fund.
Konstantin Koenig (Germany), the non-Armenian founder of Faces of Armenia has been working night and day with his team in Armenia reaching out to crisis experts, preparing and processing interviews for a Special Series on Nagorno-Karabakh.
Victoria Armineh (USA), founder of Therapists for Armenia, organized a virtual support group for individuals coping with current events taking place in Armenia.
Garo Seferian and Ignatio Analian (Argentina), Mikael Demirdjian (Uruguay), Mariam Manoukian (USA), Viktoria Simonyan (USA) and so many others have actively participated in rallies against Azerbaijan's and Turkey’s aggression.
Emily Mkrtichian (USA) is in Artsakh for a film shooting. Her movie There Was, There Was Not (Republic of Artsakh) was selected to be one of the Sundance Institute's documentary fund grantees.
Together with their friends, Leigha Schjelderup, Maggie Ovian, Roza Melkumyan (USA) are helping to harvest crops in local farms replacing those who are currently on the frontlines.
Jessica Yessayan (Argentina), Andrea Tchabrazian (Argentina), Alin Demirdjian (Argentina), and Florencia Alin Nerguizian (Uruguay) created a video in Spanish about Armenia’s history and the current conflict.
So many alumni of Birthright Armenia’s sister organization, Armenian Volunteer Corps, who are not of Armenian heritage, such as Dilyara Seisebayeva (Kazakhstan), Maya Adivi (Israel), Clara Chavassieux (France), Anais Delattre (France) or Hector Alejandro Santos (Mexico) are very active on social media regularly sharing updates, analysis, raising awareness, and talking about the developments on the frontline.
Mischa Badasyan (Germany), a creative artist, dressed up in a long red dress for a solitary silent protest in front of the Turkish embassy in Berlin.
Working with her friends, Deanna Cachoian-Schanz (USA), has been collaborating with trusted sources on the ground in Yerevan to buy and personally deliver necessary items to refugees coming in from Artsakh since the war began.
Our volunteers based in Gyumri are making camouflage nets to be sent to the frontline.
Together with She Loves Collective, Ani Nina Oganyan (USA) took part in a women’s collective art performance by the LA RIVER for raising awareness of the Azerbaijan aggression against Armenians in Artsakh.
Karine Sophie Eurdekian (USA) designed posters #RecognizeArtsakh to raise awareness about the current situation. You can also download the poster here.
Donating Business Profits
With the help of her Kooyrigs' community in Armenia, Karine Sophie Eurdekian (USA), delivers medication to Stepanakert's hospital.
Karine Vann (USA) and her family's Armenia-based companies AG Silver Collection and Nairian Canada, will be donating 100% of sales to the Insurance Foundation for Servicemen, a government fund that covers medical care for wounded Armenian soldiers.
Patil Toutounjian (Canada), the founder of Tatik Streetwear, created a limited-time collection 'ՀԱՂԹԵԼՈՒԵՆՔ' with Armenian artists Maria DerMosessian (Lebanon), Constanza Derderian (Chile), and Hrag Karaminassian (Lebanon) to donate 100% of profits to All Armenian Fund.
Talar Kakilian and Ani Carla Kalafian (USA) launched with their friends “Cookies for a Cause”: each order comes with five large, chewy, chocolate chip cookies and 100% of donations will go to the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) and All Armenian Fund. Talar has also launched sales of Postcards. With every purchased postcard, their team is sending a hand-written letter to a soldier currently serving on the frontline and donating all profits to All Armenian Fund and With Out Soldiers.
Except for her fundraiser, Aelita Martirosyan (Denmark) launched an EverPress Campaign to support the children of Artsakh by selling custom-made T-shirts.
Sofi Cartasegna (Argentina) will be donating 50% of profits from her tea blend brand to support Artsakh.
Anaid Boyadjian (an online volunteer from France) launched the “Our Girls are on the Frontline” project recreating the portraits of Armenian girls currently on the frontline.
Florence Flow (UK) is selling a variation on the cover of the zine designed “Gisher” [night] performance.
Aline Kazanjian (USA) is raising funds for Artsakh on her platform studio_gav every weekend.
Garineh Baghdasaryan (USA) is selling artwork stickers from her Armenia series to help fundraise for the crisis Armenians are going through right now.
Our two bright alumni Fred Boghossian (Brazil) and Eleanor Greig (UK) started a page Cook for Artsakh to promote the role of food and cooking in the resistance and fight in Artsakh through fundraising, providing food for soldiers, raising awareness and keeping the culture alive.
Anzhela Khaninyan (Russia) is selling Armenian-themed accessories to donate all profits.