AFA Archives: 1

March 22, 2024

December 2020. Cold winter. Ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The AFA team delivered aid on Christmas night in the border villages, braving the snowy weather just as our Operations Lead Hovhannes did this past weekend while delivering aid in Syunik.

That night, Christmas 2020, the last house we visited was home to the Sahakyan family: 2 young parents with 5 kids who had lost their home in Artsakh as a result of the war. They were staying in an abandoned village house.

The kids helped bring the aid from the truck to their run-down house through the snowy streets. They started carrying the aid and singing. The family had not prepared any Christmas dinner, as they had nothing to eat. But as they opened the bags of aid in their freezing kitchen, the Sahakyan mother started preparing tea, coffee, and even Christmas dinner, pulling the necessary ingredients out of the bags of aid they had just received. Joy filled the air, with the kids acting like little princes in this house that had become their new kingdom.

They insisted that our team members stay and eat something before leaving, and after the first bite, they started toasting “kenats” to hope, to the future of the family, to future dreams of returning to Artsakh.

The team understood the deepest meaning of Christmas spirit, pure generosity and gratitude.

In 2021, we helped the Sahakyan family return to Artsakh, where they relocated to the Askeran region. During the 2022 Artsakh gas crisis, we supported them and their entire village with electric heaters to brave the cold.

Following the 2023 forcible displacement of the Artsakh population, the Sahakyan family is now back in Armenia, once again a displaced family yet still just as determined to keep building their future.

Hundreds and thousands of families unfortunately have similar stories. Through these difficult times, AFA was committed to building relationships with these families, reassuring them that they were not forgotten.