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Washington DC- In March, 2021, the Knights of Vartan and Armenia Tools4Schools provided $16,000 to the Martuni Vocational School in Martuni, Republic of Artsakh to purchase a school bus, tools and equipment, and construct improvements around the school property.   The school provides vocational trade education to students ages 13 through 17 living in the 15 villages that surround the town of Martuni. Tuition is free and the school relies entirely on the Republic of Artsakh government for funding.  Martuni Vocational School currently has 110 students, 33 instructors, and 19 building operations and administrative staff.

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K of V Ararat Lodge to Launch 9th Medical Container Shipment to Armenia

In April 2013 the Knights of Vartan Ararat Lodge team completed its ninth forty foot container of medical equipment and supplies for shipment to hospitals in Armenia valued at $354,300.

This container is destined for a hospital in the remote village of Artsvaberd , located in the Northeastern corner of Armenia in the Shamshadin region of the Tavoush marz, on the hostile Azerbaijan border, 5 hours by car from Yerevan and 45 minutes due East of Berd, the regional center.

The 30 bed hospital in Artsvaberd, the largest village of the Berd territory with a population of 3,600, serves the medical needs of the 16,000 inhabitants in its nearby villages. There is a polyclinic in nearby Berd, but it is not easily accessible to the Artsvaberd region villagers because of poor roads. The hospital has 6 MD’s, including a gynecologist, family doctor,  internal medicine doctor, dentist, radiologist and general medicine/ultrasound doctor, 32 nurses and a total of 51 workers.  The building is a sturdy stone structure which includes 30 patient rooms, 5 for maternity, 15 for general patients, 10 for children. One third of the building was renovated a short while ago and is in very good condition, with new windows, floors, bathrooms, and a new roof. The rest is in poor condition.  We appealed to the new Minister of Health, who has promised to complete the renovation.  The hospital is also responsible for 3 clinics in nearby villages.

Besides being confronted with poor economic issues largely connected with 80% unemployment, the civilian population in this area is terrorized by neighboring Azerbaijani military. Though there is a cease-fire agreement since 1994, Azeris engage in regular unprovoked attacks, terrorizing innocent civilians using snipers, incursions into Armenian territory, bombing homes, and even machine-gunning schools to frighten the population to get them to leave the territory. There are casualties and deaths among not only military personnel but civilians as well in the area. But the population persists in staying there at all cost as they feel they must not only protect their homes, but also the border of their country.

Jack Medzorian, director of the K of V Armenia medical aid project stated “During my trip to the area in May 2012 I made a needs assessment of the hospital based on which I prepared a preliminary configuration for a 40 foot container including medical equipment and supplies, considering not only the needs of the hospital, but also the capabilities of the personnel and available utilities”.  Partners on this project are the International Medical Equipment Collaborative Inc. (IMEC) in N. Andover, MA; the SHEN NGO , our coordinator in Armenia; and the United Armenian Fund (UAF) that handles  shipment of the container to Yerevan– all of which are non-profit, humanitarian organizations.

The container for Artsvaberd includes a critical care suite, patient exam suites, physical therapy suites, patient room beds and furniture, a complete doctor’s office donated by a retiring medical doctor, an infant incubator, a dental suite, a colposcope, patient monitoring systems, EKG machines, and numerous medical supplies for the hospital and the 3 village clinics that it serves.  In addition, three pallets of equipment have been included in the container for the Arabkir Children’s Pediatric Hospital in Yerevan, including an anesthesiology machine, patient monitors and orthopedic equipment and supplies.  Also donated was the expense to repair the hospital ambulance, which was idled because of needed repairs.   The container, valued at $354,300, is expected to arrive in July-August 2013.

The volunteer team that worked on this project is headed by Jack Medzorian, ably assisted by Sarkis Gennetian, Dr. Nishan Goudsouzian, and other members of the Knights of Vartan including Krikor Shaboyan, Richard Cherkerzian,  Aurelian Mardiros,  Albert Movsesian, Paul Boghosian, Haig Deranian, Greg Yergatian,  Nishan Moutafian, and Raffi Yeghiayan. Medzorian commented, “We are grateful to the above volunteers  and others at IMEC who worked faithfully to pick, pack, strap and wrap the 20 pallets of equipment and supplies for this container and the numerous donors who contributed generously to our fund-raising appeal to help cover expenses.”