Dear Friend of Maine’s ACA,
It was great to see so many of you at our Annual Armenian Christmas service and dinner on January 6. A very special thank you to Father Krikor Sabounjian and his family from The Armenian Church of Holy Translators in Framingham, Mass who travelled north to celebrate Armenian Divine Liturgy, and the St. Paul Anglican Cathedral for hosting our service.
I would also like to thank Anais DerSimonian and Hannah Besser for sharing their documentary Forward and Forward with our community following a delicious Armenian feast. The short documentary was produced as a Sr. capstone project at Clark University and provided an insightful glimpse into an Armenia-based NGO, Democracy Today. Led by scholars and social activists, Democracy Today supports and empowers democratic practices, human rights and peace in Armenia. Amongst many other projects, Democracy Today has recently launched and is in need of financial support for the following three:
- Economic development grants for women entrepreneurs — will empower women by providing seed funds to kick-start small cottage industries and businesses to create jobs within those communities.
- Reintegration of older orphans into the society — following the closing of many orphanages in Armenia, children returned to impoverished families have no job skills and are often peddled by families to generate income. The project will conduct job training and placements for orphans to help eradicate ‘child trafficking’.
- Reintegration of young child soldier veterans into the society — following the April 2016 4-day war in Gharabagh, young veterans unable to find employment are migrating from Armenia. This project will help offer job training and employment opportunities for young veterans to prevent migration.
As a small but vibrant community of Armenians living in Maine, we can collectively make a small but meaningful impact in advancing the mission of Democracy Today while improving the quality of life for our brethren in our beloved Armenia. To this end, the ACA of Maine would like to spearhead a fundraising campaign, and we have established a direct pathway to ensure that 100% of the dollars we raise will go directly towards advancing one of the three aforementioned areas.
Please join us in making a contribution of any size to support projects detailed above. Your contributions will be collected and personally delivered to Democracy Today on behalf of the Armenian Community of Maine.
Our goal is to raise at least $2,500 by May 1st, 2018 to help provide seed funding only for the projects that Democracy Today has just launched and is in dire need of financial support. You can earmark your donation to one or more of the projects “Women” “Orphans” or “Young Veterans”.
Click here for more information or to make a contribution now.
Raffi Der Simonian
ACA of Maine Board Member
The ACA of Maine was pleased to honor and recognize the exemplary leadership of Annie and Gerard Kiladjian for their
tireless dedication in cultivating, celebrating and preserving Maine’s Armenian community and culture.
See more photos from the dinner here.