Improvement of Conditions of Pre-School Educational Institutions
Pre-school education is important for a child’s emotional, social and personal growth and development. It is not only a precondition for smooth and healthy transition to school, but also an opportunity for parents (particularly young working mothers) to be employed and generate income.
Having identified a need for more care and attention to kindergartens in the regions My Step Foundation has invested in renovation (including fundamental renovation) and furnishing of kindergartens in several communities of Armenia.
he Foundation has partnered with the international donor community (Embassy of Japan to Armenia, Focus on Children Now, etc.), the private sector (Antares LLC, Vega LLC, "Prof Al" LLC, "Webb Fontaine Holding" LLC), as well as public institutions.
This approach is a perfect reflection of the Foundation’s philosophy to build partnerships and mobilize resources to achieve common goals more efficiently.
Children from 4 regional communities already benefit from the newly renovated and furnished kindergartens:
Debedavan: The only kindergarten in Debedavan village in Tavush region reopened on August 30th, 2019 after a four year hiatus. More than 30 children from the community attend the kindergarten.
Mets Parni: new kindergarten in Mets Parni village in Lori was furnished with 60 children beds, tables, wardrobes, kitchen desks and shelves, and has a new playground.
Sonasar: Sonasar Kindergarten in Kashatagh region of Artsakh was renovated in 2019 and serves 20 children from the rural communities of Sonasar, Msheni, Hochants and Arvakan.
Ongoing project in Meghri
Children and their parents in Meghri are looking forward to the only community kindergarten to be fundamentally reconstructed and equipped with a solar power system in 2020.
The building of the kindergarten has been exploited since 1987-1988 with no meaningful improvements for the last 30 years. Having identified the need, My Step Foundation in cooperation with the Community Council of Meghri and with the support of state subvention program initiated a needs assessment, fundamental reconstruction (including seismic strengthening), and renovation of the Kindergarten building with the aim to ensure the community with an up-to date building foreseen for educational and leisure activities of children of preschool age.
Below are listed only some of the serious problems identified as a result of needs assessment:
- Weak seismic stability, deep cracks on the walls,
- Damaged drainage system, excess water in the building subsurface, non-usable rooms on the first floor, wet walls, etc.,
- Damaged rooftop and ceilings,
- Broken sewage system,
- High level of humidity, damaged electricity system.
Currently the Kindergarten undergoes fundamental reconstruction and renovation. The process consists of the following phases:
- Assessment of seismic stability of the building and geoenvironmental studies (completed),
- Implementation of strengthening works of the building subsurface, including protection from underground waters (completed),
- Developing the design of architectural works required for the actualization of the building (completed),
- Implementation of the building renovation, namely walls strengthening, water lines and electricity upgrade, rooftop and ceiling renovation, and other related works (preparation),
- Design and install of solar power plants to supply the building with electricity and warm water (pending).
The capacity of the reconstructed and renovated building of Meghri kindergarten will grow and allow to host up to 300 children (previously only 205 children visited kindergarten) enabling their parents to focus on their work and other social duties and creating job opportunities for childcare specialists and early age educators of the community.
The Kindergarten building will be equipped with a solar power plant and a solar water heater during 2020 with the financial support of the Embassy of Japan to Armenia within the frames of Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP) which will allow to consider the project fully completed in line with the requirements of modern and environmentally friendly criteria.