Kapan Cattle Breeding Project # 27-0246-01
The nature of Syunik Region is stunning in any season: the autumn is unique and colorful, winter is snowy and pleasant, and summer is mild. The communities, surrounded with forests remind people of a nice autumn fairy-tale.
Shikahogh village is one of the most picturesque places of Syunik. It used to be one of the prosperous villages of the region, with around 150 families living in it. After the independence of Armenia and during the Nagorno Karabakh War, a huge issue came to the inhabitants of the village to keep the village safe and not let the enemy in.
Of course, courageous inhabitants of Shikahogh were able to protect the village, however, after that, the former vivid village had gone: there were not satisfactory conditions to live in the village, no work, no electricity … These years didn’t leave possibility to develop the village, and family by family the people left the village, seeking better life either abroad, or in the capital Yerevan. Thus, as of 2008 only 50 families were living in the village. And Heifer Armenia entered the village to help the people of it. 13 families received cows in 2008, and 13 more in 2011, already as a POG. When it was time for POGs and the village was already gradually recovering and developing, two more families returned to their native village… for good! And Heifer Armenia approach indeed motivates people for returning to their native village.
One of those families was the family of Beglaryan Babken who came to his village from Kapan, and who received a pregnant POG heifer from Heifer Armenia. When I visited them as part of the monitoring in the region in 2012 autumn, Karine, Babken’s wife was happily sharing with us “I never thought we could ever have a cow! Today we have our Sevo, the cow, and the calf – Khurma. Milk, matsoun and cheese are really abundant in our house now! “
Now the family is fully engaged in the community life. Babken, in spite of his disability, tries his best to be useful for the village. Babken’s daughter, Haykanush, has participated in a World and Europe athletics competitions, and today she puts all her efforts to into the development of Kapan Sports School, she trains many youngsters of the village and the region.
Script by Aram Petrosyan
Written by Emma Sargsyan