AGBU has provided vital support to help the war-torn Republic of Karabakh recover and rebuild, through new cultural programs, educational initiatives and construction projects, since the 1994 ceasefire.
Hundreds of veterans, widows and elderly populations currently reside in AGBU-constructed apartment complexes, while even more students are enrolled in the Stepanakert School #7, renovated by AGBU in 2006. More recently, the Alex Manoogian Street, which runs through Karabakh’s capital, was also repaired with AGBU’s support
From 2004-2009, the Karabakh Repopulation Project brought hope and rapid development to areas that bore the greatest brunt of the strife. Those years saw the construction of 22 homes, a new medical center, a kindergarten and a school in the village of Norashen, which encouraged young families to set down their roots in the southeast region of Hadrut.
Together, these revitalization efforts are creating a region that is no longer marred by conflict, but instead marked by development and prosperity.
AGBU has also remained a steadfast supporter of the Karabakh Chamber Orchestra and most recently has partnered with the New Education Strategy (NUR) bringing vital cutting-edge technologies to classrooms in the region.
When Arkady Ghoukassian, the former President of the Republic of Karabakh, wanted to revive the region’s cultural life, he turned to AGBU, well-aware of our proven track record in promoting the arts. At his special request, AGBU helped form the Karabakh Chamber Orchestra (KCO) in 2004.
Under the leadership of the celebrated conductor, Gevorg Muratyan, and with the continuing support of AGBU, KCO has grown to over twenty members, whose ensembles helped perpetuate a love of classical music throughout the community. KCO’s gifted musicians are both performers and teachers, appearing on stage, as well as in the classrooms of Shushi and Stepanakert, where they mentor Karabakh’s future artists.
KCO’s talents have given it a reputation as one of the great orchestras in the Caucasus region, and with regular invitations to perform abroad, it captivates audiences both within and outside of the Republic’s borders.
The New Educational Strategy (NUR), a project developed by Argentinean-Armenian entrepreneur and philanthropist Eduardo Eurnekian and his nonprofit organization in Armenia, Fruitful Armenia Fund, is one of the most ambitious education initiatives in Karabakh to date. In collaboration with AGBU, which provides on-the-ground support, NUR is bringing cutting-edge technologies to disadvantaged students across the region.
Since AGBU and NUR forged a partnership in 2011, the innovative XO laptop has been put into the hands of thousands of elementary school students in Karabakh. The device, which is developed by the educational program, One Laptop per Child at MIT University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is the first of its kind, with durable hardware and interactive software that emphasize creativity as well as instruction. With its environmentally friendly features, students can enjoy the XO outside, where they are able to read its screen in direct sunlight and recharge its batteries via solar energy.
AGBU facilitates various training workshops with students and instructors, so that each can take full advantage of all that the XO has to offer. As they learn to master the computer’s programs, NUR and the government of Karabakh are working to fulfill their goal of bringing wi-fi Internet access to each of the region’s schools. Collectively, our efforts are equipping future generations with the resources and tools to succeed both within and outside of the classroom.