Different but equal

A pair of Armenian twins have overcome many of the limitations that their disability imposed upon them. They are now university students and are grateful to Mission East’s partner organisation, Bridge of Hope, for helping them get this far.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

Armenia 1998: “The teachers were like prison guards”

During the 1990s, Mission East distributed food and warm clothes to Armenian orphanages, including Nubarashen 11. But the Soviet attitude towards disability made lives at the orphanages miserable. Jane and Dennis Loze decided to change that.

By Line Højland, Communications Officer

On a freezing cold Saturday morning in 1998, Dennis and Jane Loze visited Nubarashen 11 – an orphanage for children with ’mental problems’ on the outskirts of the Armenian capital Yerevan. Later, Dennis described the visit in his autobiography:

Armenia 1992: The first major relief operation

In 1988, an armed conflict broke out over the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan. As the six-year conflict reached its climax, the newly founded aid organisation Mission East decided to send emergency relief to the area.

By Line Højland, Communications Officer

Armenia fights to stop the HIV epidemic

HIV/AIDS is a big taboo in Armenia and is rapidly spreading. Mission East just received over 30 million kroner (ca. 4 million Euro) from The Global Fund for its programs in the area.

 

Many of the heavily affected countries in Africa report progress in the area of HIV/AIDS but the growth in Eastern Europe is explosive. This is also the case in Armenia, where the need for preventive activities is immense.

 

Stronger partner in Armenia

Through education and hands-on training Mission East’s long term partner in Armenia has become an even stronger advocate for people with disabilities.
 
Bridge of Hope, one of Mission East’s closest partners in Armenia, is doing a great job among children and youths with disabilities. To strengthen this work there was a need for improving the methods of monitoring and evaluation that Bridge of Hope uses in its daily work. Furthermore there was a need for more training in financial management.
 

1-0 for 13-year-old Tigran

13-year-old Tigran used to sit all alone at home.
By Tania Maria Lüders Rusbjerg, Mission East Journalist
Photos by Hayrapet Hovsepyan

 

Managing Director Kim Hartzner returns home

"I’m more enthusiastic than ever about this work," says Mission East’s Managing Director, Kim Hartzner, who has lived in Armenia for the past two years. Now, he and his family are returning home to Denmark. Their memories are full of people and stories from a country where disability still carries a huge stigma.
 

"I want to be free in my own city" – International Day of Disabled Persons

The Cultural House in Armavir, Armenia, was filled with joy and happy faces on the 3rd of December. Disabled children linked to the Mission East project "A Healthy Start" had been invited to the theatre on the International Day of Disabled Persons. For many of them this was their first time at the theatre – even though it was only a puppet show.
 

Clubroom gives disabled and non-disabled children a place to meet

On October 3rd, Mission East, our local partner organisation Nur and the community of Metsamor in western Armenia held the opening of the area’s first children’s clubroom. The purpose of the clubroom is to provide an environment where disabled and non-disabled children in the community can meet, get to know each other, play together, and enjoy common interest activities together.
 

Danish disability leaders visit Mission East in Armenia

Two of the leaders of the disability movement in Denmark recently visited Mission East in Armenia. The visit is part of Mission East’s project "A Healthy Start" with the objective to give voice to the disabled in Armenia who suffer from a high degree of stigma and rarely receive the care they need.
 

Mission East supports the first ever Child Assessment Centre in Armenia

The opening ceremony of the first ever Child Assessment Centre in Armenia was held on September 18th with the participation of Mission East and representatives from several ministries and local authorities.
 

The establishment of the Child Assessment Centre was a requirement of Armenian Special Education Law which was adopted two years ago with the support of Mission East and local partner Bridge of Hope. The centre will assess the educational needs of special needs students and provide guidance and advice to parents, schools and educators.

Armenia’s first parents conference

On July 27, more than 50 parents of disabled children from seven Marzes of Armenia gathered for a conference titled 'Parents to Parents'. The conference is the first in its kind in the history of the Armenian republic, and among the participants were representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and Ministry of Health.
 

Documentary about Mission East in Armenia on TV

Right now the Danish TV viewers are able to watch a new documentary about Mission East in Armenia.
The programme shows scenes from Managing Director Kim Hartzner’s visit with some of the families that Mission East has helped. We meet 15-year-old Emma, who suffers from cerebral palsy. The family’s every day life was dominated by Emma’s epileptic fits several times a day until Mission East found her and made sure she received the right medicine.

Update from Kim Hartzner as winter approaches

Kim Hartzner, Managing Director, writes from Armenia, where he has been in charge of the Mission East office since August. The winter is closing in in a country where temperatures can reach minus 20 degrees Celsius. The cold is especially hard for five year old Marine and her mother who live in an unheated stone house with a mud floor.
 

Our new curricula is official

The approval of the Mission East special ed curricula is a landmark for Armenian children with learning difficulties.
The 8th November 2006 was a day of big celebration for Raffi Doudaklian, Mission East's Special Education Coordinator in Armenia. It is the day on which he received the official approval by the Armenian Ministry of Education and Science for the new school curricula for children with learning difficulties in Armenia.

Armenian ministers: "Thank you, Mission East"

At a reception in Armenia, officially welcoming Managing Director Kim Hartzner to the country, three Armenian ministers expressed their gratitude towards Mission East.
 

The Armenian Ministers of Education and Science, Health, and Labour and Social Affairs attended a reception on November 16th where they thanked Mission East for the organisation’s help with education for children with learning difficulties.
The reception was hosted by Mission East, welcoming Managing Director Kim Hartzner who will spend a year in Armenia leading the Mission East Team.

Aug 06 - Back to Armenia

Mission East’s Managing Director is moving to Armenia with his family for a year, to lead our programmes there. Armenia was a ‘pioneer’ country for Mission East, early in the organisation’s history. And for Kim, who took part in distributing the first relief supplies there in the early 90s, the Armenia projects are especially close to his heart. 

By Morten Østervang, Mission East journalist