Armenia School Aid Project (ASAP)
In 1994, Eva Medzorian, CYSCA Board member and Armenia School Aid Program (ASAP) director, pioneered the concept of ASAP, linking sponsors with secondary schools in Armenia. As ASAP caught on, other individual sponsors and organizations saw that direct aid to a specific school is a very effective and efficient means of helping the schools, and other similar programs began. Under this program, sponsors commit to fund a minimum of $500 per year for at least three years to a secondary school in Armenia. One hundred percent of donors’ donations go directly to the schools. The Medzorians personally deliver all donations and conduct follow-up visits to these schools to ensure that the project is being managed and implemented properly. The donor’s school is documented and filmed before and after improvements are made. Letters and photographs are exchanged between sponsors and school children. Links have been created which have resulted in some cases with visits by sponsors to their schools during their trips to Armenia. Material aid in the form of library books, school supplies and computers have also been furnished to the needy schools in addition to the financial donations. Since its inception in 1994 until 2016, over $275,000 has been distributed to approximately 100 schools.
Annual visits to the sponsored schools provide CYSCA the opportunity to follow-up on the donations to ensure that the funds are spent for the purpose intended. In recent years a shift has been made towards providing assistance to regional schools, as the needs are greater in villages. School directors prepare a letter thanking their sponsor and informing them about new developments at their school, sign a receipt for money received, state how they spent the previous funds and how they plan to spend the new funds, all of which is given to the sponsor, including photos.
This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the ASAP project with some of the original sponsors having faithfully contributed since inception of the project in 1994. In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016, a total of $7,500 of donations was distributed to 7 schools. As customary, 100% of the donations are given to the schools.
These funds were used for various purposes at schools in Berd, including window, food tray, curtain and pillow replacement, and blankets at two kindergartens; renovation of hall for dance lessons at secondary school; drinking water tank at high school; van tires for student transport plus field trip funds at Community College; desk and chair replacement, assembly hall benches, classroom renovations at other secondary schools.
CYSCA, the school director and staff, students and parents are grateful to the sponsors who continue to support schools in Armenia with generous donations.