Press Conference: "Whatever We Do, We Do it for the Sake of People, for the Sake of Armenia"

27 May, 2019
Today at the Komitas Museum-Institute, the Prime Minister's Spouse, My Step Foundations and City of Smile’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Anna Hakobyan, Hovhannes Ghazaryan, Executive Director of My Step Foundation, and Esther Demirchyan, Executive Director of the City of Smile Foundation met together. The results of the two fundraising visits to the United States in April this year were summed up, and questions were asked by the reporters.

Meetings and Results in America

Referring to the visit to the USA, Hovhannes Ghazaryan, Executive Director of My Step Foundation, first presented the meetings that Anna Hakobyan had as the Prime Minister’s spouse. Such meetings were held in Washington with congressmen in the US Congress, at the Library of Congress, and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where the keynote speaker was Anna Hakobyan. There were also community meetings.

A meeting with the community was also held in Boston at the home of Raffi and Nina Festekjian. During the event the program and nature of the My Step foundation were presented. The next destination was Los Angeles, where meetings with the community were held in a variety of formats. A community meeting was held at the Alex Theater with the participation of 1500 community members. The delegation also participated in the event dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Consulate General of the Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles.

In New York, there was a meeting with about 30 active women of the Armenian General Benevolent Union who presented the Fund's activities. There were also meetings with representatives of the Armenian Evangelical Association, with Vardan Gregoryan, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Founder of the Tavidian Foundation Aso Tavitian.

Referring to the results, Hovhannes Ghazaryan noted that during the US visit 1 million 60 thousand dollars has been raised, 500 thousand of which will be received by the fund if the programs of the foundation are properly implemented within 6 months. This condition was set by the Manoogian Simone Foundation. Ghazaryan said that contacts and negotiations with a number of potential donors are ongoing and they are provided with additional information on the Fund's programs.

Anna Hakobyan thanked both the American colleagues and the Armenian community for the warm welcome to the United States. She expressed her satisfaction and joy for the positive atmosphere in the Diaspora.

About the Donors:

In response to journalists' questions, Anna Hakobyan noted that the funds she runs are free to donate to. "We present to everyone the work we have done, the work we are going to do, our goals, the detailed work, and we are grateful for everyone's donations because they will serve those goals. We don't want to tell people, you know, you don't like the taste or taste of someone, so don't make a donation, don't contribute to our cause. We all join hands because we believe in our plans, we find that what we do is for the benefit of our people, for the benefit of Armenia, and there is no choice between us and our donors, "said Anna Hakobyan.

About Individual Applications:

In response to a complaint about the Foundation's rejection of individual health applications, Anna Hakobyan recalled that at a previous press conference in February, she had asked citizens not to apply to the "My Step" Foundation for individual health applications.

"I apologize and apologize again that we are unable to respond to these individual applications because they are too large and require a great deal of resources, and if we spend time on that, we should not spend time on anything else. When our resources are large enough that we will have extra budget to do what we have to do, we will also start helping people along the way,” she said.

Ms. Hakobyan added that nonetheless, the staff of the foundation are trying to help the citizens with individual problems through guidance, becoming a bridge between the opportunities and the needs. She noted that the farther goal of the foundation is to create an online platform for foundations, intervening organizations that will enable both beneficiaries and organizations to be aware of the opportunities and interventions in the field.

Answering another question related to the topic, the Executive Director of the Foundation Hovhannes Ghazaryan noted that since the foundation of the Fund, so far more than 3,100 applications have been received on health, social, educational, cultural, construction issues. According to him, since all applications cannot be processed, therefore, there is a selection criteria set. For example, in the social sphere of the World Vision Armenia in partnership with the Poverty Reduction Poverty Reduction Program, it is important to have the desire and potential to work, which can lead to family self-sufficiency. “This approach was chosen for two reasons. First, because we solve this problem, and secondly, because donors give money to implement such projects. It is very difficult to raise money, saying that we provide individual medical care, ”Hovhannes Ghazaryan said.

For a full transcript of the press conference Click Here.

27 May, 2019

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