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(SAN DIEGO) – The Knights of Vartan, Gomidas Tahlij #43 of San Diego has donated a commissioned painting of St. Vartan and Ghevont Yeretz for the side altar of St. Sarkis Armenian Church, San Diego.

The painting by Armenian artist Tigran Hovumyan was dedicated and blessed by His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese, and parish priest Very Rev. Father Pakrad Dz. V Berjekian, on Sunday, February 5, 2023, as part of St. Sarkis’ First Anniversary Celebration.

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Knights of Vartan Provides $10,000 Donation to Support Landmine Clearance in Nagorno Karabakh

The Knights of Vartan is proud to announce that it has donated $10,000 to The HALO Trust, the only organization conducting landmine clearance in Nagorno Karabakh. This gift will support HALO’s life-saving work in the region and will be matched by an anonymous donor to double its impact.

Jacob Bournazian, Southeastern Grand District Representative of the Knights of Vartan, with Chris Whatley, Executive Director of The HALO Trust (USA) Photo credit HALO Trust

Karabakh and its people have been haunted by the presence of landmines for more than two decades as a result of the 1988-94 Nagorno Karabakh War. In fact, Karabakh has had one of the world’s highest rates of accidents from landmines and other explosive remnants of war. A quarter of the victims are children.

This problem not only threatens peoples’ lives but also their livelihoods. Most Karabakhis are dependent on agricultural land or woodland to support their families, and the presence of these deadly devices limits the land they can use to support themselves and their communities. HALO has been working in the region since 2000 and has cleared almost 500 minefields, making land safe and benefiting more than 80% of the population. HALO also visits schools and communities throughout Karabakh to teach people, especially children, how to stay safe from explosive dangers.

We are proud to support HALO’s work to ensure the people of Karabakh can live free from the fear of landmines. “The Knights of Vartan is pleased to be working with The HALO Trust in the demining of Artsakh. Innocent lives are too often lost to mines placed and forgotten. Farmers want to plant their fields in a safe environment free from the constant worry of mines. We thank The HALO Trust for this most worthy cause,” said Grand Commander Steven R. Adams.

About The Knights of Vartan

The Knights of Vartan Inc. is a fraternal leadership and service organization of Armenian men dedicated to safeguarding and perpetuating the Armenian heritage and cultural traditions. Its membership represents the spectrum of the leadership of the Armenian community. It was founded in 1916 in Philadelphia and is based the United States with 23 local chapters which support Armenian causes around the world. For more information about the Knights and Daughters of Vartan, visit

About The HALO Trust The HALO Trust is the world’s largest humanitarian mine clearance organization. They remove landmines and make safe other weapons such as cluster bombs, stockpiles of small arms, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Born out of a desire to help the people of Afghanistan in 1988, they now have over 8,000 staff in 26 countries and territories, working to get vulnerable communities back on their feet following conflict.