The global economic and financial crisis hit the Armenian economy very hard. In 2009, the proportion of Armenians living below the poverty line increased from 27.6 percent to 34.1 percent (around 1.1 million people). The country’s most marginalized population is estimated to be more than 650,000 people. This means that every third person of the population in 2009 lived in poverty and every fifth person was living in extreme poverty. In 2010, the poverty rate increased even further, reaching 35.8 percent. These figures point towards the remaining high need in Armenia regarding development assistance and highlight the importance of Heifer’s work in Armenia addressing poverty and hunger in the country.
Heifer's Work in Armenia
Since its establishment in 1999, Heifer Armenia has helped more than 8,000 rural families in 58 projects improve their livelihoods by developing rural communities, finding solutions to economic and ecological problems, spiritual revival, as well as strengthening the prospects of peace in the region. The organization places agricultural inputs including cows, goats, sheep, beehives, rabbits, chickens, fish, turkeys, buffalos, bull calves, California worms, potato seeds, alfalfa seeds, wheat seeds and fruit tree seedlings. Heifer Armenia focuses on projects that include economic development components. The value chain development methodology adopted by Heifer Armenia is aimed at establishing economically viable, efficient and sustianable linkages between different value chains (e.g. dairy) actors to create lasting income generating opportunities for its target project participants and contribute to sustainable community development.
The organization pays special attention to rural youth leadership development and vocational training initiatives. Heifer Armenia has established and successfully runs 29 youth clubs in rural communities in Armenia. Around 2,500 children have benefited from enrollment in rural youth clubs supported by Heifer Armenia.
Key Services Heifer Provides:
Sustainable agricultural production: Training and knowledge dissemination on agricultural, ecological and social capital issues
Post-harvest management and processing: Forming partnerships between farmers and processing companies
Market development: Value chain development; farmer organization and cooperative development
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
"The young ladies in my 4th and 5th grade Sunday School class raised this money as a Fall project at Charity UMC. We did a modified Read to Feed program using the book Once There Was and Was Not. The girls hosted a lasagna dinner on November 12th and distributed Arks to the adult Sunday school classes. The girls were very enthusiastic about the project and got the church behind them. They did presentations on Sunday morning and to the adult classes. Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place."
Edik is very thankful for the gift of chickens and the impact they are having on his growing farm and his family.
Marietta's chickens provide her with about seven eggs a day that she can sell to local shops.
Cows are so awesome. And we’re not just saying that because we are called Heifer International. Here, we’ve long held the idea that animals, as just one of the things that Heifer provides to families, should always provide “7 M’s” so that they’re truly transformative for those we support. Heifer developed the idea of 7 M’s many years ago to help more simply explain how an animal can be a catalyst for so much change. It sounds sort of weird, but it works, and has for nearly 70 years.
My name is Zhenya. I am from the Kirants community of Armenia. I am 14. I attend the Heifer youth club in our village. In 2012, I developed a business plan that was approved by Heifer Armenia, and I received a small youth grant to realize my business plan. Heifer gave me 40,000 Armenian drams (about $100) as a youth business start-up.
Valerik Khachatryan is a skillful tailor. He is famous in his village for his beautiful work. When he is not busy sewing or tailoring, he does small-scale farming. His family, which includes his wife Amalya, daughter Zhanna, 16, and son Vanik, 13, owns two calves, six hens, 10 chickens and a small pool with carp fish. Valerik dreams of growing their family farm.
Life in Chinar is very dangerous. Every day my wife takes our two kids to the kindergarten with a feeling of fear in her heart. The other day the nurse in the kindergarten told my wife that every time when the shootings start she turns on the music very loudly so that the children don’t hear the shootings. Thanks to Heifer we now have a cow and a calf.
I love my business. It's not an easy deal; it requires care, attention and a high sense of responsibility.
With the money I was granted by Heifer, I bought four she-rabbits and one male rabbit. I also bought feed for them.
When I told people I was going to Armenia with Heifer, the most frequent response was, “Wow, um... Where is that?”
The Heifer Armenia team was extremely pleased to witness the arrival of the second rounds of agricultural equipment to be placed in farmer cooperatives in the framework of the Community Agricultural Resource Management and Competitiveness (CARMAC) project
The excitement on January 20 in Vanadzor, Armenia, was overwhelming as three new tractors were officially handed over to cooperatives of small farm owners in three rural communities.
Chinari is considered to be a very early human settlement, but the village is only officially registered to be 113 years old. The 12th century Khoranashat Monastery lies in the upper outskirts of the village, the most sniper-prone zone in the area.