Story and Photos by Karine Matevosova | Program Coordinator | Heifer Armenia
Translated by Liana Hayrapetyan | Communication and PR Coordinator | Heifer Armenia
Vigen and Victoria are students at Gitelik University of Yeghegnadzor, in the Vayots Dzor region of Armenia. Victoria studies Armenian language and literature and hopes to become a philologist. Philology combines literary criticism, history and linguistics to study human speech and language. Her brother Vigen is a future economist.
Their parents, Gurgen and Marine, are unemployed. It is hard for Gurgen and Marine to care for family expenses, let alone pay their children's tuition fees.
To support their parents and generate more income, Victoria and Vigen applied to the Beekeeping to Support Education project.
Heifer Armenia included them in the list of Passing on the Gift® (POG) recipient families. In the spring of 2012, they happily received five beehives each.
Gurgen and Marine participated in trainings on beekeeping provided by Heifer Armenia. They established a small bee farm, and honey sales became their sole source of income.
Victoria and Vigen's grandfather Sevik gave the family four additional hives. And after one year, they produced three more hives. This year the family plans to increase their bee farm with more hives.
Last year their hives produced about 185 pounds of honey. Money earned from honey sales helped pay a portion of Victoria and Vigen's tuition fees.
They are preparing to pass on the same number of hives they originally received to another family. Victoria said they will be happy to help them start a bee farm to pay for their children's education.